These last couple of years my body has been speaking to me. It’s been telling me something I don’t particularly want to hear. It’s reminding me in not-so-subtle ways that I’m getting older.
Since my late thirties, I’ve been fighting a valiant battle against my steadily increasing age by staying active; not just running, but also by playing soccer and basketball, hiking, snowshoeing, kayaking and walking whenever I’m geographically close enough to a location to feel guilty about driving. I’ve been eating healthier (most of the time) and trying to think positively, which I think we all can agree was no easy task in 2017.
Yet despite putting my best foot forward – both figuratively and literally – my body continues to thwart my efforts. In 2016 I was slowed down by a tricky inflammation that led to the surgical removal of my epididymis. (Whatever you do, don’t Google it.) Last September my ability to do pretty much anything was severely hindered by the mesh-based repair of three (that’s right, THREE) hernias. As someone who’s spent most of his life free from serious injury, this recent accumulation of physical maladies has been less than ideal.
Now that my body has recovered and I’ve slowly rejoined the world of the physically able, I’m looking to reestablish my quest to outrun father time. I’ve been playing soccer and basketball regularly and am logging two to three short runs a week with a plan to steadily increase my mileage throughout January. I’d like to say I’m supremely confident that I can get myself back to where I want to be, but I can’t. I’d love to spend the rest of this space waxing poetic about my inevitable victory over biology, but I’m afraid my curmudgeonly personality and my lack of good fortune over the last couple of years won’t allow me to do so.
I can’t guarantee a successful running year or a return to the form I had last spring. I can’t promise I’ll eat as well as I should or lose the excess weight I accumulated during my fall hiatus. And it’s not a sure thing that I’ll run two half marathons or feel good about my times when I cross the finish line.
And that’s okay. I don’t have to “crush it” this year. I can simply do my thing and hope for the best. After all, I’d be more than willing to settle for my health in 2018. I’d be happy if I could just have twelve surgery-free months so I can build up leg strength and participate in a handful of races, including at least one half marathon. That would be a very good start. And that would be enough for me.
Wish me luck.
(Yeah, right. There’s NO WAY that would be enough. Not by a long shot. If I don’t lose 10-15 pounds, run two half marathons and log a sub-two-hour time in at least one of those races, I’m gonna be pissed!)