As I slowly get back into shape after some time away from running, I find myself choosing my paths carefully. Recovering from injury, I am craving softness, not concrete. Recovering from a cold that made my lungs feel like their very soul had been sucked out of them, I find the hills of my forest daunting. It is the thing my coach used to call "sucking air" that has humbled me into seeking straight, flat, gentle paths on which to run. Today, that was around and around the spongy soft green fields of our local community center and gym. It earned me time alone with my iPod, and a nice wave from the groundskeeper, whom I have known since our kids were tykes and used to hang out with each other.
Meanwhile, I also find myself, having recently celebrated my day of birth (in bed, with soul-sucking cold), at a crossroads. Or maybe 5 crossroads, which makes for a very complicated and confusing intersection. God only knows which way I should turn, and although I've asked for maybe just a small clue, so far no mystical road signs have appeared.
I do notice that my desire for truth and clarity is at an all time high. Otherwise put, my bullshit threshold is at an all time low. Doctors (and piano students) are notoriously people pleasers. We live for being told we are doing well. Ironically pathological, if one stops to think about it for a moment.
Things I have learned in my 43 years:
-You can't please anyone, particularly between the ages of 11-15 and if their name is followed by the letters "M.D."
-Music, running, and good company helps
-If you stand up suddenly or do the Valsalva, the murmur of Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy will be accentuated.
I cannot seem to find exactly the most pleasing path in life, so I might choose more than one, such as:
a long walk in France
a long trail run
a long shot
One thing for sure: next week I am taking a long vacation.
Well, really only 5 days, but with my husband, to celebrate 20 years on this path together.
"Wing": is it about not needing people at all or is it about not needing people to validate you? Or is it about life after death? Or freedom in the moment of letting go of all that ails you?
These questions would leave Patti Smith in hysterics, I am sure.
Oh, something else I HAVE learned:
Johnny Depp can play the guitar. And he has nice forearms.