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Summer Vacation - Friday, Jul. 08, 2022
Sunday, Apr. 24, 2022 @ 7:52 pm
The Sun Run
The firsts are unexpectedly emotional.
Stepping into a small, intimate Spanish tapas restaurant. The windows fogged, a server sailing past with a tray of small plates. The rhythmic rattle of a cocktail being shaken. His leg pressed against mine, his hand on my leg, as we sit together at the bar. He looks at me with intense admiration and desire that makes me blush.
A live band striking up, under the big top, as performers spill onto the stage, in costumes and makeup. Their bodies lithe and the atmosphere magical. An intoxicating display of all that is great in the world - music, dance, artistry, athleticism, and creativity. I feel myself welling up, a tearful joy rising up within me. Wonder expressed across my face. I am a child.
The starting gun firing at the beginning of the race. Birds rise up, gulls and pigeons, surprised by the sudden explosion. The subsequent quiet of the start of a race, rubber shoes pattering against asphalt. I run down the middle line of a seven-lane arterial.
I failed to train as planned.
The last ten days spent looking after a dog and a cat. Running the dog two, three times a day. Taking him to the beach, up to the river, and into the mountains. Trying in vain to tire him out - a one-year old border collie - without success. But also working through my own anxiety, and realizing that the dog and I are well-matched. We both need the time outdoors, moving our bodies. Running free.
He bonded with me in a way I had never experienced with an animal. Him coming to me for comfort and protection when scared. Him sitting beside me and standing guard when a threat appeared. Him bringing me a toy, asking me to play with him. His ridiculously over the top welcome when I came home from the office. I could shift my body, my breathing, and he would respond. I didn’t want to leave him behind.
But because of the dog, and because of the job interview/offer stress, I missed many of my training runs. My stated goal was to have fun, but as soon as I was running, all I wanted to do was push and push and suffer in an attempt to run the ten kilometers sub fifty minutes.
Dad on the sidelines before the bridge, cheering me on and taking photos. So proud. Me of him. Him of me.
In the final stretch, I don’t have anything extra for sprinting. I just continue at my pace and contemplate my finish line photo. Usually it looks like suffering. I round the corner and see the big inflated arch and the timing strips on the ground. Cameras, photographers, race officials, volunteers, medics.
I raise my arms and grin as I cross the line.
I look at my time: 48:29.
I made it.
We made it.