It happened in December 2012. I was running in the Jingle 5K and at mile 2, something was amiss. My right knee started to throb.
Of course, being an ass, I kept going.
As I approached the finish line, I am now in a full limp.
That was 5 months ago...
I have not been able to run with any distance since. This is more taxing mentally than it is physically. In fact it was downright stressful.
The miles have turned into fits of frustrations - Longer walking than running. Pain filled events that make me wonder what the hell am I doing out here.
This impacts my survivor mentality of 'keep moving'. I firmly believe that if I can keep my body as tuned as much as I possible, I can always give myself a fighting chance. I don't care if anyone else believes that or not. This is just me.
To that end, I can't move the way I want. I can't race my heart the way I feel I need to. I pour supplements and juices into me in hopes to compensate. The gym is the second home. Early hours of harsh activity...that's me. Yet, I am still held to human standards.
At a recent doctor appointment, for the ailing knee, it finally dawned on me. What I keep preaching to all, I had forgotten myself.
I am breathing.
When you remind yourself of this, you start to feel what it is like to believe again.
Breathe. Just try it.
A simple, reflexive act. Your body is the perfect machine. Fill it with the fuel it needs and do the simplest of tasks - breathe.
I left the doc's still limping but with a new resolve. Dammit, I am breathing. I know too many who aren't any longer.
The visions start to splay in front of me - fragments of fantasy.
A shrink once asked me to write down in a notebook what I wanted to be. Who was I? What was I?
I wrote down one word - Superhero.
I wanted to be that. The fragments of memory often collide with fantasy. As a child up to this day, I still feel the ripple effect.
I still fall asleep to thoughts of being superhuman. Someone who can't be touched. I've done it so much that I keep testing to see if I have super powers. Two attempts at lifting a car, and I realize I am still a puny human on this planet.
But mentally...well, that's the trick and that is where the true power lies.
We can't leap tall buildings, but we can build them.
We aren't bulletproof, but we can choose not to shoot at all.
We aren't hulking monsters whose rage conquers all. But we can bring peace to an entire world.
We are breathing. We are walking. We are living.
Maybe more like limping. Maybe we slow down at times. Maybe we simply cry until we can't cry any longer.
But the limp goes away. The aches just remind you that you are living and tears always dry.
And you simply breathe. An uncomplicated and mostly unconscious act.
Everyone's time is coming. Just choose later than sooner.
Me? I'm running tomorrow.