I started running when my son, Max, was born, primarily because he had a wicked case of colic, and I needed to get out of the house. Only a few weeks out of childbirth, it left me tired and sore. But it also gave me time alone with my thoughts.
Eventually, I could run farther and faster. Instead of listening to music, I made up characters and stories. Sixteen years and thousands of running miles later, those stories have became novels.
But age and an aversion to stretching have a way of catching up with you. Gone are the days when I could grab a pair of sneakers, and go for as long and as far as I wanted. You need to be flexible to run without injury, and my hamstrings are shot. I'm as flexible a #2 pencil.
But this morning was a beautiful one, sunny and crisp. The kind that begs you to go outside.
So I grabbed my sneakers, stretched as best I could, and gave it a go. My run had winding roads, rolling hills, and picturesque farm fields thrown in for good measure.
And did it hurt? Well, on the whole, it wasn't particularly pleasant. But a brief stretch of it was like visiting with an old friend. I thought about the story I'm currently writing. I enjoyed the beautiful day. And for a little while, even my hamstrings cooperated.
It makes sense to avoid the things that cause us pain. But sometimes, the pain is worth it. At least it was for me today. Ice packs on my hamstrings and all...