This decision came just as I began running again, mentally committing myself to finishing a marathon after years of false starts.
So I moved on, ran, and eventually joined Team in Training, completing 5 marathons. And while I still practice t'ai chi, I have decided the level I'm at is the last level I'll reach.
Which brings me back to running. Every setback is a time to examine commitment. Do you renew or fold? This cancer business on top of last year's knee operation, illness, learning to chi walk, tendinitis, anemia and all the hurdles I've faced since September 2008, including misdiagnoses from a hack doctor, have made 'fold' seem not only realistic, but the smart play.
- Any outdoor exercise must now be tempered by the knowledge that I'm very skin cancer prone. So its cover-up exposed skin and train in the early morning or evening. (Or retire to the state of Washington.)
- I'm pushing 60 and have sustained a fair amount of damage over the decades from a severe leg wound to broken bones to sprains and torn muscles.
- Odds are that I'll never again equal where I was physically in 2008. That means I'll probably never qualify for Boston or run Heartbreak Hill.
- Maybe the point of all these set-backs is not to press on, but to quit before something worse happens.
But that's how I'll leave running. Painful as it is to keep starting over, I'm going to need another series or two of smack-downs to prove I'm finished. And I may not believe it even then.
'Cause if I'm not moving on, I'm moving up. Moving on up. Moving on up to the Eastside, to a de-luxe apartment in the sky. From now on, I'll run a dry cleaners.
Wait. Skip that part.
Run again soon, I'm believing.