When coming up North I had one plan in mind…a little bit of me time. It’s not that I am burnt out or overwhelmed with being a mom. Because that is so totally not the case and I know Lover Boy would attest for me. I have never felt so much joy in my entire life since being a mom. But…I really need to do something about all of this cooking I’ve been doing lately…and my solution is running. Yes running. Depending on the direction of the wind I may tell you running is totally stupid or a heavenly blissed tunnel (my fellow runner will understand).
I ran competitively for 10 years. Beginning in 7th grade to my scholarship in college to the University of Toledo. It never was something that was “that” hard to me. I just got it. It was the most familiar thing I knew, an outlet for life’s stresses, a competition, a joy. Until I was plagued with injuries during my college years. Those ruined running for me. It sucked my lifeblood addiction right out of me. I had never felt so discontent ever. Good thing Lover Boy was there to distract me and help me through.
When I wasn’t injured however, Harley our puppy Weimaraner would go running with me. It soon became his lifeblood. His joy in life. He would run 60-100 minutes with me daily. Pulling me the whole way. He became my favorite running partner. The kind that couldn’t talk back to me and make me tired just listening!
So sitting around my mother-in-law’s house today I was looking at old pictures that littered her walls. Pictures of Lover Boy and I years ago (and 15 pounds lighter might I add), pictures of Lover Boy in high school playing football (during the time that we dated), pictures of Lover Boy as a young child. Something clicked inside of me. I finally got that revelation that I was praying would strike while being home. I looked outside and saw 3 feet of snow. I thought perfect. I handed our baby to Lover Boy and said “I’m taking the old man running”.
I pulled out my old running clothes from my suitcase and put them on. All the while Harley was racing psychotically around the house because he knew what those clothes were for (even if it’s been 4 years since I wore them). A few minutes later we were out the door…of course with his spike collar on so he “couldn’t” force me to run his pace.
We headed out, my now 6.5 year old doggie and I. He was so excited. We started out and he was so kind to go my pace at first. We turned the street and he was like “come on old mama…lets go!” I pleaded with him to heel! The crazy dog didn’t care that he had his spikes on, this was his first time out running in so long! He’s legs needed to feel the stretch.
We turned another corner and there was another runner up ahead. I kid you not, Harley looked up and me with those handsome blue eyes of his. I know what he wanted, I wanted it too. There we were running on a neighborhood street, closing the gap the lady had on us. It was like old times. My insane collegiate workouts, all of my races. No matter how out of shape I am I couldn’t help but be competitive. I think the lady felt the heat and decided to bail at last minute (or so I’ll say to make my story better!) She saw a neighbor outside shoveling her driveway and hung it up! (the neighbor saying “ahh, please don’t fall in my driveway! Please don’t!”)
I couldn’t help but think ahh ha ha ha! We did it old man! I know Harley felt the same.
We turned onto the final road that would lead us home. I said to Harley “you wanna go old man?” His eyes lit up. We stopped just fast enough for me to unhook his leash. There we were, running like old days for the last 300m of our run. He sprinted along like my little puppy all those years ago.
It was a miracle for both of us. An accomplishment. Me that I ran 15 minutes. Harley because he has overcome so much in his short life here on earth (being a puppy who was unable to walk for 2 weeks to endocrine problems, eye problems and the list goes on). He’s been our glue during the toughest times. He’s never let me down. He’s never not been there for me (I guess that could be good or bad!). He was there for me today when I needed to reconnect.
I love you old man!