Eighteen years ago, I was a freshman in college. We had one required physical education class, affectionately referred to as “PACL” – Physical Activity and the Christian Life (gotta love the way Christian schools have to stamp religion all over everything). PACL was pass/fail if I remember correctly, and it required students to exercise 30 minutes 5 days a week for the entire quarter, and run one mile. I had never run a mile in my life – didn’t think I could. But I eventually managed it.

Today, I’m 36. Twice that age. On New Year’s Eve, I ran 4 miles. I’m training to run a marathon relay in the spring.

I like running.

I like being 36.

My 18-year-old self wouldn’t recognize me.

slap. slap. slap. slap.

shoes greet pavement

slap. crunch. crunch. crunch.

ice.

hold tight. don’t slip.

slap. shh. shh. shh.

snow pillows embrace sneakers.

crunch. crunch.

pick path across snow plow excrement.

pant, pause, stomp, waiting for green.

 

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