The Pause

I could feel the look. Blue eyes boring into the right side of my face. I turned to my cousin with raised eyebrows. She stared at me, then glanced down at my knee, then back to me. “You all right there?” I looked down to where her gaze had been and realized that my right leg was jackhammering.

“Sure,” I said. “Never better.” But was I? The mounting evidence was beginning to say otherwise.

Exhibit B. There I was, on the floor. Again. This time in a puddle of sweat (my own), in a room (not mine) with some 20-odd people (strangers, minus my wife, Rachel). Wind rapped at the windows, but inside, the lights were dim, the air so humid and heavy that it dripped from the walls. “Quiet your mind,” the yoga instructor intoned. “And follow your breath.” Quiet your mind, she says, I laughed to myself. I can’t even follow one thought let alone my breath.

Bottom line: I’m jonesing for a run. Hard.

But I get it. These 10 days are supposed to be about, as George Costanza once said, “Rejuvenation! Rebirth!…All that crap.” And by god it’s working, save for these manic moments of insanity.

In this bye week of sorts, I can get out of bed without having to step gingerly to the bathroom. The knotted spots have unwound. The angry spots have gone to therapy and worked out their issues. The fatigued spots have freshened up. I average 8-10 hours of blissful sleep.

When I do run? There’s a bounce to my step. I’ve contemplated slowing the pace just to make the run last longer but my legs are so snappy that I zip along regardless. I return to the house flush, itchy, and unsatisfied.

I’m a junky looking for a fix. To quote runDanrun from our text exchange during his bye week, “Hey, man. Can I borrow some of those miles?” (scratches at neck with rabid look in eyes).

While I’m prone to a bit of madness in these instances, I also have more mind space to tackle some of the more existential questions life throws at us.

Exhibit C. It’s Thursday. I’m working from home, which means human contact is limited, which means agitation levels are high, which means I can only converse with the dog or myself. So I do. I look over at my four-legged-friend who dutifully buzz-saws away next to me on the couch. “Mattie,” I begin. Her head jerks up waiting for me to utter that sweet sweet three letter word: o-u-t. “Mattie, I’ve been thinking. I know I can eat one Chipotle burrito.” Her ears twitch, unimpressed, as if to say, This better be going somewhere. “I’m confident I could put two away, especially in a hundred-mile week, hell even 80.” Eye roll. Duh. “The real question here is (pause for effect), what about that third burrito?” She let out a long sigh and plopped her head back down.

I’ve tried taming the edginess with hot yoga (Exhibit B), but the beast can only be satiated for so long. And speaking of being satiated, I can still eat with the fierceness of a castaway suddenly reunited with a breakfast buffet (oh, how they lose money on me). Leftovers are still not a word that exists in the lexicon of our house. Despite a modest 27-mile week, my bones are still slippery enough that nothing has stuck to my ribs…or to the shelves of our fridge.

In the end, I hope to look back at this week with longing. A clear case of “the grass is always greener.” Until then, I’ve got a date with a burrito (or three).

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