100%

I’m NOT 100%!  There.  I’ve confessed to the world.  Do I feel better?  NO!  My ankle is killing me.  I couldn’t run this morning.  I stretched as usual and even gave an extra stretch on my right leg so I could feel it pulling my Achilles tendon under my foot past the arch and into my toes.  That usually loosens everything so I can get going down the street.  Not this morning at 7:00.  Not later at 9:00 after lying back down for a while with Margarita in my arms, nor after walking around in the street.  So, I just exchanged my running gear for my regular shorts.

Around 11:30 I took Duke with me to Colonia El Ángel, about six or seven blocks, to deliver an email message to Vanessa Cruz, this year’s queen of the colonia.  Oh, the pain.  Duke is young and insists on pulling me.  I’m old and pull back.  Why do dogs prefer to choke themselves pulling on a leash rather than enjoying a leisurely walk at their human’s pace?

The truth is: I’ve never been 100%.  I remember excruciating pain in my legs during my first years of life for which I had to go to physical therapy…such as it was in the 1940s.  I’ve been wearing eyeglasses since my bout with Scarlet Fever at age five.  Around age 35 I burst a bicycle tire at the gas station due to a faulty gauge on the hose.  The explosion left a permanent whistle/ring/hiss on my brain that interferes with my hearing.  It seems to be more annoying with age.

Still, I have to thank God every day for my health and stamina.  My heart and lungs are strong.  I have no problems with any of my organs that Viagra doesn’t take care of.  I’ve drunk milk all my life and my bones are strong.  I work all my muscles regularly and don’t suffer most of the aches and pains that come with 75 years of use and abuse.  If only I hadn’t broken my ankle 30 years ago, I wouldn’t be suffering the arthritis that developed and which I’ve been fighting since the afternoon ofAugust 22, 1980.

I love to run.  I feel so good making my way through the streets of El Refugio out to the highway and along side it until I reach my turn around point.  I either concentrate on my form or pray as I move along.  I rarely acknowledge the people I pass.  I don’t become a snob and I don’t care who thinks I’m nuts.  It’s my time.

It’s afternoon and I still have to walk Luís, Adriana, and Margarita to the church for the kids’ CDI program.  Margarita seems to be a little more chipper but she still walks slowly.  We’ve got a steep down-hill and an up-hill to get to the church and I don’t want her walking it alone.  It’s also slippery in spots from the neighbors’ wash water running down the road.  I’ll walk it because I have to but I know it’s going to hurt.  I’ll do it again at 5:00 when we collect the kids.

Tonight, I’ll watch the Celtics basketball game on the TV if it’s on, the computer if it’s not.  I’ll go to bed and rub Cofal on my ankle.  It’s stronger smelling than Ben-Gay.  In the morning, I’ll try again.  Sometimes the pain just disappears or lessens significantly.  If I can make it to the corner, I’ll go the whole hour.  If nothing else, I always give my run 100% of what I’ve got.

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