A (Temporary) Farewell
For various reasons, there are very few (okay, maybe only one) people with whom I am still in relationship who have been around through most of the significant life transitions I’ve experienced. When I think about the fact that I’ve carried a lot of weight on my shoulders, alone, I feel both empowered and a little sad; I’m always envious of those who have maintained lifelong friendships, relationships, but I know that most of my circumstances are of my own making.
Thankfully, I’ve always had running. Running, on the road or on a treadmill, track or trail, has been that relationship that has carried me through the tough stuff; it has allowed me to create the space for processing thoughts and feelings, for acknowledging and accepting my emotions, and for reminding me that, no matter how difficult things may seem, I remain capable of moving forward.
The past few months, exclusive of my running injury, have been personally challenging; the recent absence of my metaphorical friend, running, has been noticeable. While I have been so thankful for the opportunity to learn something new, and engage my body and mind in different ways, cycling does not provide me with the same experience. This is likely due to the fact that I feel like I am always focused on 1) any obstacles/traffic in front of me, 2) staying comfortable yet engaged, and 3) not crashing; okay, it’s mostly that last one. This does not allow much time for meaningful contemplation.
This is not the end of our relationship, I know; I ran five miles this morning, and felt really good, so I’m hopeful that running and I will reunite in a few weeks. As I sit here, though, preparing for an injection of my own platelets this afternoon, I’ve suddenly realized that I’m saying farewell, if only for a while, to one of my best friends. As they often are, this farewell is bittersweet; our distance from one another is intended to provide a respite for healing and the potential for uninterrupted time together in the future, but that does little to ease the discomfort.
In the interim, I will acknowledge that I’ll have good days and bad days; there will be some days when I miss my friend more than others. I’ll watch other people run and cheer them on; I’ll get back on my bicycle (Dottie) and we’ll continue to build our relationship with one another. I’m going to try to ask for help when I need it (a very tall order), and take care of my body in the best way that I can, while I wait for my friend to return. When we meet again, the occasion will likely be both joyous and painful; I’ll be counting the days.