Dear future self,
Do you still love to run? Or what I really want to know is, can you still run? You may remember that your 29 year old self loved to run. You ran to clear your mind, to relieve stress, and to compete against yourself. Nothing made you madder than when you didn’t finish the same route as fast as you did the time before. You looked forward to your runs. They were your time to be outside, needing nothing but a pair of shoes and the open road. Your favorite time to run was at dusk in the early summertime. The air was warm, but you could feel the coolness of the night air coming on. You always liked to run in t-shirts, because they were baggy and comfortable enough to move your arms. You didn’t dress to impress, because there was no one to impress but yourself. It was then you felt most free, pushing yourself as fast your body could go. You left the burdens of everyday life at your door and forgot about everything else as you listened to the same Killers album. over and over Sometimes the wind was behind you, and you felt like there was a hand helping push you along. Other times, the strong Kansas wind was against you, and you felt like you could barely make any progress forward.
Like the wind, it was a toss up if you would truly enjoy your run on a given day. You didn’t always bound around and relish each step. Oftentimes, it was grueling and all you wanted to do was stop and walk. And sometimes you did just that. But you would always start running again, because you knew that there was no greater feeling than hitting the “finish” line. Every time you completed a run you felt a sense of accomplishment, that you had done at least one thing worthwhile for the day.
So I’m sure you remember all that, future self, but do you also remember that day in November 2012 when you finally had to stop mid-run? The pain in your left knee had gotten too bad. You kept running through it for months until it stopped you mid stride and forced you to sit down. At the time you thought it was a really bad case of runner’s knee. So what I really want to know, dear future self, is do I ever run again? Do I ever feel that sense of freedom and accomplishment again? Does my body heal and allow me to do the things I want to do? Two years ago I felt strong, at my athletic peak, indestructible. Now I feel weak, like my body has let me down. I know that your body changes as you get older and that I should feel fortunate that I can walk, but truthfully I didn’t think it would happen to me. Naive, I know. I hate it. I want it back. I hope to hear that you found a way to get back out there, future self, or have at least invested in some bionic knees.
30 year old Kari