My new morning routine has me prowling the hills of our neighborhood in an eleventh-hour attempt to compress enough conditioning into my body such that I’ll be able to run a couple miles of the marathon on Sunday. Sadly, after over a year of passivity, there is no longer any glide in my stride. I feel like a four-cylinder mini-van full of passengers as I gasp and wheeze up the hills, and make my way around the confusing and circuitous roads. In my former life, I would breeze up and over the hills and worry not a bit about getting lost. After all, I could always tack another hour onto the run if I needed to get myself found. But now, I get a little panicky when I get turned around.
“How are you doing?,” said a dear friend at lunch today. “Pretty well, I guess,” I affirmed– and I meant it. But an hour later, I was in the middle of Trader Joe’s — which is, I have to say, an exceedingly happy place indeed: small size, pure food, short lines, and basically only one brand from which to choose. But halfway through the aisles, I was overwhelmed by a sudden sadness so deep that my knees weakened a little as I choked back tears. I couldn’t put my finger on exactly what it was, but I knew that I wanted to leave immediately, rush home, and hug my girls.
So maybe my metaphor needs some refinement: I’m an overburdened, underpowered mini-van with only one gallon of gas in the tank.