Sunday, April 10, 2011

Beautiful Day

Step back, gonna come at you fast

I'm drivin' out of control, I'm gettin' ready to crash

My heart rate takes a while to get to where a normal man should be for running any distance. I’ve said it before – I am hot wired and governed.

It happens almost instantaneously. Memories and what I call thought-flashes collide. They don’t unfold. They barrage. Demons can invade a sunny day after all.

This weekend I was part of a Korean reunion in Massachusetts. My son played with his friends and the thoughts smacked me upside the head. If I wasn’t a Survivor, he wouldn’t have come to me. The most important part of my universe and I would have never met him.

Eleven mic’d soldiers on a one-way trip

Cuz we’re hardcore



A cardinal zips in front of me - My first sign of spring and my favorite bird. I can feel the blisters on my toes pulsing now. They never heal so why bother anymore. I think there are cars flying by but I am too lost in the music and the tide of brain waves.

What if?

Something about breathing hard and fatigue always bring on dark thoughts.

I go over my list of five things to be thankful for. I go over them again. I pick five more and I go over them twice too.

The iliotibial band is now complaining. Lousy running shoes but I am working on that. Even worse running form but I’m working on that too.

For now, I know where I am distance-wise from the finish line and I want to stop.

Lately, it seems everyone is dealing with the illness. You can’t outrun the news. You just nod and take it one step at time. Hour to hour. You deal with what you know and not speculation.

Step by step. It really is a beautiful day but all I hear is music and my hard breathing.

I am angry with my body for not being better. It just means I’ll have to work harder. In my haze, I can barely make out my poor time on my stopwatch. I quickly remind myself that having any time at all is a blessing.

What if?

What about the people that are just starting their journey? You wish you could hand out a map that states, YOU ARE HERE. Then show them the exits.

So give me reason

To prove me wrong

To wash this memory clean

I’m done. I stop for a brief look at my watch and against everything my body was telling me, I start running again. I crossed the finish line but it wasn’t enough. I went a little farther and stopped in front of my house. I clicked my watch one final time. Lousy but it gives me something to work on.

All of the What Ifs fade. I should cool down. I should stretch. I don’t feel like it.

I disconnect from headphones. I keep taking deep breaths.

It is a beautiful day after all…


  1. You are an inspiration. Thank you for sharing.

  2. Running is just as much exercise for your mind as it is for the rest of your body. Thanks for showing what the finish line means to you. It is so relevant for all of us. Oz


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