A week out from falling ill, I couldn’t stand it anymore, and hit the trails, some nice and mellow trails: Tijeras Creek and Arroyo Trabuco. I wasn’t quite up to running, still congested and coughing, and a bit down in the dumps. Why can’t I just get sick like normal people, get through it and come out raring to go? I sure do not suffer illness well. When I get sick and physically weak, I also grow mentally weak. I get depressed and anxious. I am happy to report that I see the end of the tunnel now. But I have some climbing out to do, more so mentally than physically. I’m just coming around to being okay with myself, opposed to the self-loathing that attacks alongside physical illness.
Of course, I second guessed whether I should hit the trails this past Thursday. A boy from long ago named Tim Cammack came to mind. I went to school with Tim Cammack, oh more than thirty years ago. He was a super star cross country runner in high school – a true super star. He was also a nice guy. He fell ill with the flu, for about a week, perhaps longer, then went out for a run one afternoon, not fully-recovered. He never came back. Tim died running. Everyone said that he was too weak still to run. His death was a big blow to the community. People questioned again and again, “Why did Tim run when he was not well enough?” I do not know how sick Tim was. But I probably understand why he ran. He may have ran because he had to run. Maybe he wanted himself back, maybe he was tired of being weak, or he was afraid of losing ground, losing some of his endurance. Maybe he wanted to escape himself and experience the now, and leave all that weakness behind in bed. Maybe he just wanted to feel better.
That’s why I hit the trails on Thursday. I wanted to feel better. I ran 9 miles along Arroyo Trabuco. It was laborious, much more so than usual. And I tired easily. I didn’t push myself at all. I merely ran lackadaisically (more so than usual ). Good news is, I felt better. But it didn’t help push the illness out of body quicker. I am still sick. Regardless, I got time to reflect on things, put my life in perspective. I remembered Tim. I remembered his good friends, one whom I became friends with in college. It was good to think about old times. And it was good to reflect on why we do the things we do, and how time goes on and that we heal, and we remember, and we learn. I like that.