THE SUN ON MY BACK

Finally, a beautiful and warm 36 degrees, sunny, and a hint of some actual grass on the ground. The day was just too warm to let pass me by, so with a short sleeve shirt, fleece and a pair of pants, my dog and I went out for a walk. I promised myself I wouldn’t try to run and to give lungs a chance to recoup.

We got to our usual walking spot, and as we got to a crossroads of whether to turn left or right, I saw a man with a giant dog heading in our direction. I needed to make a decision — do I go in front of the man and dog, possibly annoying him if his dog decides to pull on the leash; or, do I go towards the man and dog and risk my dog freaking out? I decided to jog and stay ahead of the man. Yes, I decided to jog. I should know better….

I made it a good 1/2 mile. And, I’m pretty sure I could have kept going. But, alas, the dog had to poop and we were forced to stop. Though the entire poop-bag-tie-move process was all of 30 seconds, it was enough for my lungs to scream, “What is wrong with you, lady! Oh, I don’t think so!” Up came floods of mucus and I found myself doubled over throwing up, again. So much for that run.

I kept walking, emotionally breaking down over the fact that the day was beautiful, the sun was out, my body had felt good, and my first race is in 2 weeks. I started to tear up at the disappointment over my body. Then, as if I finally came to my senses, I looked up at a sign just ahead of me: “Spinal Cord Unit”.

Spinal.Cord.Unit. What the hell did I have to complain about? So, my lungs hurt. So, I was discouraged. So, I couldn’t run this week. My blessings had been thrown in front of my face. I could walk. I could move. I could jog (sometimes).

It was at that point that I stopped, took a deep breath, shook my head, and let the sun dry my misty eyes. I took off my headphones. I turned off the noise coming from my iPod and silenced the noise of my own pity.

I walked.

And, after that first 1.5 miles, I kept walking. I smiled at the grass peeking through the weeks of layered snow. I smiled at the woman walking past me with her headphones and sunglasses on. I smiled at the man with the giant dog who caught up and quickly surpassed us. The 1.5 mile loop became a 3 mile workout, and I felt amazing.

I’m thankful for the nice weather. I’m thankful for the medication finally working. And, I’m thankful that my body, though still in its early stages, can walk, run, and improve.

Peace, love, and silence,

Liza

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