Proving Something

The clouds are stacked atop each other on the horizon giving breathtaking depth to the ever darkening blue sky behind them. And I am running towards them. I feel the gravel shift under foot and hear my own heavy breath. The steady thud thud of my gait helps me focus and yet lose focus. My mind slips away as I try to give shape to the myriad of images racing through at breakneck speed.

I am running. I have to.

Eighteen months ago I slipped on a patch of ice while taking the dog out for her morning duties. My ankle snapped with the loud crack of a stalk of celery bent in half not once, but three times. I lay on that ice in 8 degree cold waiting for help. Thankfully I had already dressed for work and had my cell. It was not long before the first responders arrived and covered me with a mound of blankets as well as their own firejackets to keep me from slipping into shock.

I was out of commission for nearly three months. There were times I would suddenly burst out in tears because I did not think I was strong enough to survive. I was imprisoned in my lazy boy—dependent on family and friends for basic needs. And the pain. And the fear. Would I walk with a limp? Would I walk with a cane? Would I heal? Would I be strong enough to endure the physical therapy?

And what of the heart problem they found before surgery to place my bones back into order with plates and screws?

A stiff breeze begins to build making the meadow around me swirl as if I were at sea. I quicken my pace a bit and shake out the tension in my shoulders. My legs are powerful, my knees are warm but flexible. I continue toward the horizon.

I was a grotesque 320 pounds, with a broken leg and an abnormal EKG.

I had reached bottom.

I promised myself that I would make it through somehow. And when I came out the other side, I promised, I would run again. I hadn't run since college, but dammit, I was going to run. I was going to lose the weight and regain my health. I was going to strengthen my heart and live to see my kids graduate from college and build families of their own.

I have to run. I have something to prove. I have to convince myself I was not the grotesque creature I saw in the mirror. And I am learning, slowly, painfully, that I am not.

There is nothing heroic in regaining what I had so willingly given away. So I forbid anyone reading this to leave comments of congratulations. Yes, I have removed 60 pounds of blubber from my frame and yes I am on track to run my first 5K this fall. But I am not worthy of congratulations. Not here. Not now. Not for this post.

The clouds have not drawn any nearer for my chasing after them, but still I run towards them.

I have to.

Do you understand? Please tell me you do.


  1. Saints and Spinners said...
    Based on what I know so far, just about everyone goes through some life-changing event that is on par with being cataclysmic.

    I understand not wanting congratulations. "Congratulations" is what you get at the end of a recital. You're changing your life. It inspires me.
    Anonymous said...
    60 bricks of butter off your frame must be a relief in so many ways. I love your writing style. Keep running, and keep writing!
    Guitar Musings said...
    Awesome! I am very happy for your success.
    Amish Guitar said...
    Wow, how did I miss these comments? Thanks S&S, Anon and GM! It's been awhile since I wrote this entry, but I remember it being a post that HAD to be written before my head exploded.

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