Last year I missed one of my favorite races. The New York Road Runners Corporation puts on an event only for local clubs. It's a lovely race because it's smaller than the rest of their giant events. Specifically because you have to be a member of a local club to run it. So all the people were only interested in training for a certain race or getting in there 9+ one so they could get guaranteed acceptance into the NYC marathon are not there. Those other people don't get in the way of me seeing all the familiar faces that I have seen for years running races in New York City.
I also like it because all the clubs put on a little picnic so we hang out after the race. And it's not just a race it's two races because the genders are separated. We get to watch each other run. A few times I ran the men's race and then the women's race so I can get in some more miles. And a few other times I ran all the way to Central Park and then started the race. (I just reread my blog post about the other times that I ran to Central Park via Summer Streets, I impressed myself.)
Last year, when I checked into the hospital in early May I remember kinda thinking that I would be fine by the beginning of August, but I wasn't. In fact my wife spent July picking out a long-term rehab facility for me. That process is kind of like how parents choose a college for their kids. She said the second best facility for me was on 103rd St. off of Fifth Avenue. I want to go there just so I'd be near Central Park. I had the physical strength of a slice of pizza but I figured someone could push me over there and I could watch the races. That never happened.
It was a long summer in rehab. I often closed my eyes, took a deep breath and imagined myself in Central Park. There I am with my eyes open.
But it was more than just that. Getting over to that shady spot and sitting down was doable. But while I was sitting there I had absolutely no idea how I would get up. It took a lot of energy not to worry about that. I knew I was surrounded by people who would help me up but I did not want to worry about that, it took a lot of mental energy just to live in that moment. I didn't want to worry about how it was good to get up until I had to get up.
But there I am being the moment that I had imagined.
Thanks Anne, for bringing your giant camera. In all I