Back in the saddle


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Running, how I’ve missed thee. Well, “missed” might be a generous word. I missed the feeling of doing something healthy. I missed feeling sore for a good reason. I missed the good fatigue. I missed feeling energetic and motivated. The running part is just what I do to get there.

Sunday morning I left for an early morning run with my husband and the 3 under 3. We both pushed a jogging stroller, me with the twins and my husband with our preschooler. It felt great. I may have packed a few ice cream pounds during our holiday in Cow’s country but the constant babywearing has kept my legs and core in good working order.

That’s when I saw her. She was sitting on a patch of grass in the shadow of a large green electrical box. Even at 8:00 am the sun was hitting hard at the tail-end of a dry heat wave. In suburbia, the saplings don’t provide shade, the utilities do. She was sitting in the shade of an electrical box next to a public transit stop, waiting for a bus. A little old Asian lady, with a face like a dried apple. What was she doing at a bus stop at 08:00 am on a Sunday morning? She wasn’t dressed to go to Church. Was she going to work? Was she at the end of a night shift? Maybe as a nighttime home caregiver? Was she going to babysit a grandchild? She looked tired, seeking shade and rest in this sea of asphalt and concrete. There’s nowhere to sit in suburbia. You are either coming or leaving. You’ll sit when you get home.

She watched us run by and I suddenly felt self-conscious, burdened by the sadness and futility of our lifestyles. “How crazy is that?” I asked my husband. Here we are, on a Sunday morning, running nowhere. We’re not running because we’re being chased or because we’re chasing something. We’re running because we are an affluent couple with such sedentary lives that we need to get special shoes and special strollers to make our bodies do what they’re supposed to do to stay healthy, keep illness at bay and avoid decrepitude.

Our bodies were not made for grocery stores with just-on-time delivery and beverages with enough calories to cover two meals. They weren’t made for cheap, easy, fat, sugar and salt. Our bodies were not made for online shopping, Facebook and desk jobs. In the absence of anything to chase, haul, till or hack we are left to devise contraptions like the treadmill and the weight machine to trick our bodies in the belief that our lifestyle is healthy and active.

I ran past the little lady sitting in the shade of the electrical box on a Sunday morning thinking the world was upside down. Sunday used to be a day of rest. My husband and I can rest on Sunday but we shouldn’t. This little lady should rest on Sunday but she can’t.

This Sunday morning reflection lead me down the path of our recent to move into a rental house and our decision to start saving to build our not-so-big passive house in the country. I yearn for an active lifestyle that keeps me fit in itself. And as much as I enjoy working out and breaking a good sweat, I will not look back when I stop running nowhere.

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My street team, also known as my
Greatest Handicap.

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