The Kids are All Right

Well, it’s been a week. A couple of weeks. OK, it’s been a fucking year, really, full of uncertainty and misgivings, misunderstanding and heartache.

I’m really ready to be done with all of it. I’m ready to move on, get straight, feel things other than pain alternating with numbness and fear. I know these things can’t be forced, but I think I’m making a concerted effort at moving in the right direction.

This weekend was fantastic. The sun, the fucking sun shone for the first time in what seemed like a decade of gray and rain. I took every advantage of it. I got outside on Saturday and ran 8 miles, which was a boost for my confidence and my soul like no other, simply because I’d worried so much about my fitness falling off lately. That 8-miler is the longest run I’ve had since the marathon, or at the very least since October. It felt great.

The icing on the cake? I ran into one of the only people I know in all of Portland, leading a pack of people on bikes in the opposite direction who were all breaking the sound barrier. He saw me, and the ensuing high five stung my hand for another mile. ❤

Seeing someone I know during a long run has always lifted my spirits no end. There’s something about a familiar face and a smile that just makes my heart full and encourages me to keep going. I could have run a half marathon on Saturday after that encounter. It took all of two seconds and was a total game changer.

Sunday morning I had a slow start, enjoyed hanging out in my bed with my two girls, one snoring and the other making “boop boop boop” noises as she covered her face with a furry gray paw. The sun shone full blast into our beautiful, southeast-facing windows, and I felt the urge to get outside again. I wanted to run, but had reached my mileage quota for the week and didn’t want to risk injury on top of 8 miles after a hiatus from long runs, so I grabbed my 20” BMX bike and headed for the river trail to do some sprints.

I’ve waxed poetic about my bikes before so there’s no need to rehash that drama, but I never, never, ever get tired of my BMX. This time it was my sweet sweet Chase, who is less forgiving than the 24” Supercross cruiser, but is oh, so fucking cool in her lightning chrome and low-slung profile with S&M bars. She treated me to an excellent sprint sesh this morning, rearing up a little on each start but never getting too squirrelly. The session was a hug for my heart.

Later the same day I did a road bike ride with a new friend and that was fun too, even on legs that were at that point totally cashed. And afterward we talked, and during that conversation I received enlightenment, and was disabused of misgivings and worry, and felt gentleness and kindness, and I will most certainly sleep better tonight because someone cared enough to share honest feelings and listen to mine. It’s a rare enough connection in the world these days, and sparks the flame of a valuable friendship.

So bring on the second (third?) week of 2022. Fuck, what day is it even? I may have to play hooky this week because the sunshine is supposed to continue off and on, and I need to get my cruiser to Gateway Green for a first ride on the pump track when people are sparse. Take care, Ghost, and I’ll talk to you Friday-ish. ❤

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