So, I’ve started jogging again. This might sound like nothing but it's a huge deal for me. Back in high school, before I started smoking, I was a very good runner for the track team and I loved running. Then, of course, I started smoking, got hit by a car, jumped off a three-story building, got shin splints… and so on…
I’d done some jogging on the treadmill at the gym but, really, that’s not jogging. That’s jogging on the treadmill and anyone who has done both knows the difference is like that between ginger ale and gin. After I quit smoking a year and a half ago (yes, it’s been that long!), I hoped I might jog again someday.
So, several weeks ago… beginning of summer, really… I tried it out. All I got was pain. And lots of it. And this was from a mile – maybe! See, I was jogging up to the Santa Ana River so I could jog on the river because I knew my legs were going to hurt as a result of jogging on asphalt, concrete, pretty much anything. Vicky suggested I walk up to the river trail and that helped a bit but I spent week after week in just the worst kind of pain, limping back home. It was awful.
But then, slower that you can imagine, things got better. My legs started to let up a little and get used to it. I did a mile, then two. The other night, I jogged nearly five miles! I’m far from cool. I look like an old man out there and I know it! But doing it, actually jogging again, feels great.
Oh, and there’s more. Once I started getting used to it, I picked up a couple of three pound running weights to help me tone up a bit while I’m at it – cause I’m an idiot. That just brought on more pain, but I’m getting used to it.
I try to keep in mind what Peter O’Toole said in Lawrence: The secret is not minding that it hurts.