Ray Romano once said in a stand-up routine on the 1990 HBO Young Comedian's Special that if you feel something weird on one side of your body, check the other side. If it’s there too, you’re good. I laughed. It’s funny, right? But I didn’t really get it… until now.
He was talking about the aches and pains of getting old, something that seemed an utter impossibility then. But, as I turned the doorknob this morning to head out for a run, I noticed my left wrist was sore. In fact, it’s been sore for a few months, and I had finally come to accept that maybe it was going to be sore forever. While holding my phone, I also noticed my thumb joint was aching, as it had been for a few weeks. Running down the road, it hit me that this was it. This is the beginning of the aches and pains that don’t just go away. Here I am, wedged solidly in middle age (and all you “40 is the new 30” people can eat it… when 30 was the new 30, people only lived to 60), and I think I might have just crested the proverbial hill.
Grateful that my legs, knees, and feet seem to be functioning normally, I focused on my run and let it go. Eldorado has many pros and cons, as anyone who lives outhere knows. When gas prices are high, the daily drive to Santa Fe SUCKS. The green belt trails, however, rock, and this is one of my favorite routes. I ran from my house about a half a mile down the road to the green belt entrance on Monte Alto, and turned off the road onto the little dirt trail. The first mile or so is a slight downhill, just enough to make you feel like you could run forever. My dogs love this run; they pad along (one in front of me and one behind) at just the right pace, understanding that when we run, we don’t stop for mini-pee breaks. At the end of the dirt trail is Avenida de Compadres, so I turned onto the sidewalk and ran the hilly (mostly uphilly) route to Avenida Eldorado where I turned left to face the steep incline that counters that nice long slow decline. It’s tough, but I just threw it into granny-gear and chugged up the beast like the little engine that could until I hit the railroad tracks. Turning left again, it was onto the Rail Trail, which is hilly and sandy but an all-around sweet little section of the run. After about a mile, I veered off onto the little dirt trail again, back to Monte Alto and back home. The whole thing is a little over 4 miles and I won’t tell you how long it took me to do it (I wouldn’t want to put any undue pressure on you).
At the end of my run, as I was hauling ass up the street to my driveway, I saw Maya, my 4-year old, sitting on the wall next to my house crying. Apparently, she woke up while I was out running and missed me. She ran to meet me, hugged my sweaty legs, and said, “I love you, Mommy.”
Wait, what’s that little twinge?