I used to run. I was never a very graceful or fast or accomplished runner, but I did it. I ran a marathon once and a few shorter races. But mainly I knocked out a few miles at a time at a slow but consistent pace.
Most of the time, I didn’t really like running. I felt like I should do it because I was trying to be healthy and stay fit. And if I’m really honest, because I was always trying to lose ten pounds. I didn’t do it just for the love of pounding along the sidewalk.
But then, surprisingly, sometimes I did love it. There were certain days when the sun was out and it just felt great to be moving. Or I’d take a long run with a friend and use it as a chance to finally have an hour-long uninterrupted conversation. Sometimes there was a beautiful view that I wouldn’t have seen from a car. Or a neighborhood that I wouldn’t have found.
As of a couple of years ago, I can’t run. If I set off at a jog, it doesn’t take long for my right leg to start getting tired, and my gait becomes completely off balance. If I sprint, that happens almost immediately. Falling and busting my knees again is a certainty. And in terms of exercise, walking is actually better for me. If I walk quickly, I can get my heart rate up and keep it up for longer. So I don’t run anymore — I’m retired.
I’m surprised at how much this bothers me. Not all the time – some days I’m actually glad to have an excuse not to be struggling into a sports bra. But from time to time, there are days when I’m crushed that I can’t run. I miss that feeling of strength and freedom. I want it back. I want to win a race with John. I want Tom go jogging with me. I’m sad about what I’ve lost, and scared about what might follow. I worry that I’ve gone too gently into this sedentary night. It’s not the worst thing in the world – plenty of people have a lot more to worry about than I do. But it’s still tough.
Thank you for posting this. I follow you and you don’t say much about your MS struggles. I struggle with a lot of issues. I miss running so much. You nailed it with everything you miss about it. We have the same worries and just because there are people that have worse problems it doesn’t make yours any less. MS sucks and there is really no other way to put it.
I could relate to your feelings of losing the ability to run…and not being able to do things which you did few years…
There is so much that MS changes in one’s life. But I feel, there is nothing better than being fit & fine even if it means giving up few things we love…
though I agree a sadness remains.