Some years ago, I was a runner. I wasn’t hardcore; I didn’t run every day or compete in marathons. I was a casual runner, a neighborhood runner, slowly but steadily wearing away the tread on my shoes.
At one point, I did sign up for a local 5k event, mostly out of curiosity. On a warm, muggy morning, I successfully crossed the finish line, not the first person to do so that day – but also not the last. My “runner’s high” from that event seemed to last for quite a while, bringing new energy to my casual approach.
Gradually, however, I stopped running. My priorities shifted. Work involved new and increasing responsibilities sandwiched between long hours of driving to and from the office. Family schedules often required early mornings and late evenings, juggling clubs and practices and friends. Running seemed inconvenient, impractical, especially on days of blazing sun and sizzling temperatures.
But now, the kids are grown. The work commute no longer exists. Finding the time to run is no longer the challenge it once was. And currently, the hottest days are behind us, at least for a while. Cool breezes invite open windows and outside activity.
I’m older, of course. Creakier. My joints and muscles need extra coaxing and care. It’s unlikely that I can build my running stamina as quickly as I once did. It would probably be unwise to try.
Still, I’ve started looking at running shoes, comparing features and styles. I’ve been thinking about the music that will motivate me on those days when I’m just not feeling it. I’ve been scouting out running paths, reviewing my old route and considering new additions.
It might take a while before I’m back to where I used to be. I may never truly get there; I may need to adjust my expectations. That’s okay. I’m just looking forward to feeling that runner’s high once more.