I took my time getting out of bed this morning. Jon lovingly rolled out of bed at 7:10 am to take the kids downstairs. They have reverted back to their old wake-up time – 6:30 am. Brutal on a Saturday morning. Especially when nursing a head cold.
Maria headed back upstairs after heading down with the boys. She cuddled her body against mine and rubbed my hair trying to get the tangles out (an act she loves because I inevitably say “Ouch!” and she retorts “That’s how I feel when you brush my hair!”). She begged me not to go on my Saturday morning run complaining that I never spend Saturday mornings with her. I explained to her that I spend all of Saturday day and night with her outside of my run, but that didn’t matter one bit in her mind. When she knew she would not get me to skip my run, she begged me to at least get up and carry her piggyback downstairs. I asked her to give me 15 minutes. She counted down 15 minutes on the clock and when that 15 minutes expired, she sang “Cock-a-doodle-do!” She is a nutball.
As I got dressed and looked outside at the bleak morning, I resolved I would do a short run – 5 miles – and call it a day. My head hurt from my cold, my nose was runny and stuffy and my eyes felt droopy. Jon always asks why I would choose to go outside and exercise when I felt like that but to me, it helps. Opens up those sinuses, right?! On my first leg of the run, I felt heavy in the legs and I thought I may take the mileage down to 3. But something happened as I jogged down my second hill and saw a group of runners – male and female – running up the hill. They looked my way, smiled, waved, and yelled “Good day, heh?” I returned the morning hello and felt energized. After another mile, I jogged by a woman walking her dog who I see often on my morning runs. Her dog yapped and she shrugged her shoulders at me saying “I wish he’d know you by now and not bother you with that barking. Do a mile for me!” I waved and continued.
I made it to my turn-off. I could choose to take a left and head up the hill to the gym or head straight towards downtown. Seeing others energized me and I continued toward downtown. When I passed a bus stop, the two older men sitting on the bench commented “Lookin’ good hunny. Keep that body moving. Uh-huh.” I nodded at them appreciating their subtle encouragement. I continued through downtown into Short North and up King Avenue. I ran over the bridge and caught a glimpse of Mario’s favorite bird (heron) standing tall on a rock in the water. I thought of Maria and Mario and my full day ahead with them. I smiled. I thought of Jon and a full week with him this week due to his lack of travel. I smiled. I looked at the road ahead and the run I was soon set to accomplish. I smiled.
An old African Proverb suddenly entered my head: “I am because we are.” My sis had sent me this proverb in a card a while back. I thought back to the warm people I had seen on my run, my family, my friends, the pre-historic heron, and how fitting the proverb was for my Saturday morning run. I repeated it over and over as I ran home to spend the day with Jon and M&M.