It rained early this morning. First a light mist then a downpour as I drove north through the dark to meet with my running group. I was a little nervous, it's a new group for me on different days. Although the rain was pretty steady, the temperature was still 73º out.
I sat in my car waiting for the coach to show up and saw two of the runners get back into their cars and drive off. Then I saw two others begin running down the street so, in my usual awkward fashion, I jumped out of my car and started to chase after them. Doesn't this group do any warm up exercises? I wondered.
A car pulled up beside me and the driver was calling my name. It was my running coach. She had called off the run due to lightning. I was confused because the two women I was trying to catch up with were running at a pretty good clip. "Two of your runners are up ahead," I hollered back to her over the rain. "That's because they live down there. They're running home."
I reached the veterinary hospital a little after 6:00 a.m. My shift doesn't start until the afternoon but I left my camera behind the night before and was restless having it out of my hands. A surprised technician asked what I was doing there. I told her they had called of the run so I came by work for my camera. She was surprised there would be a race mid-week. I didn't realize, or maybe I did deep down, that I had tried to be vague about having a running coach. The "they" I had used referred to my running coach. It was the same ambiguous pronoun game I used while dating a woman twenty years ago and was being careful about who I revealed it to.
It will never feel normal or natural for me to say "my running coach". It feels as foreign to me as if I'd announced that I had to take my lederhosen in for alteration, or the monster truck rally tickets I was hoping for would be waiting for me at will-call. These are things I am fairly certain I will never say. It would be more likely for me to state, "my Nigerian dwarf goat has a very large tick on her udder".
The truth is, my running coach has changed my life. Not only is she a safety nut she is also very knowledgeable and experienced and has a passion for what she does. She is so funny that some days I have to stop running because I need to double over from laughing. I love her and I'm grateful for the circumstances that brought her into my life.
On that note I will confess that I have not run since Sunday and it feels weird (another thing I never thought I'd say). Michael and I will go out tomorrow and Saturday. Ana and I will ride bikes together on Wednesday morning. *Note to self: buy a bike helmet.
My doctor correctly predicted that I'd start to feel better with the medication she prescribed. She said motivation would kick in and I'd want to do things. She recommended that I "feather my nest" with all of the good and healthy things that I can, so I am. I'm storing up good things like a squirrel stores nuts. Bonds are growing stronger and experiences are more plentiful. It's taken me a lifetime to find an inner source of peace and strength.
It's not that I don't value the years I wandered or hurt or felt unmoored. It's just that I've found safe harbor and can rest.