Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Me and the Army 5K Run...

Last Tuesday morning, I am laying on a massage table as my RMT begins her work. I know, it sounds like a glamorous way to begin a Tuesday and in some ways, I guess it is. But these are not your 'relaxing-day-at-the-spa' massages. They are fairly intense and often painful sessions designed to loosen a bumper crop of knots which have taken up permanent residence in my trapezoids, shoulder and neck. We have even named them. These weekly sessions are basically what keep me mobile and able to function.

There are other areas of my body which still suffer from the accident of 2010, such as my legs, knees, ankles and hips. These sessions last 45 minutes and it is scarcely time to attend to any one area of my body, so we rotate areas which are treated on a weekly basis, all depending on which one is in worse shape. For as uncomfortable as these sessions might be at the time, the relief which they provide over the following days is well worth the time and effort.

Christine my RMT, though fairly young, is very adept. Gifted, even. Her hands move skillfully, knowingly. She can detect any trace of angry musculature, ligaments or tendons. We will often joke that she is a master of inflicting short-term pain, for long-term gain. She is in many ways a godsend.

During these sessions, I will often drone on about 'the social condition' these days or things which I think she might find humorous. I have recently got into my head that I would want to participate in this year's ARMY 5K Run. It's for a very worthy cause and I want to challenge myself. One of my cohorts at work asked me why I would want to do that. I replied: "Because it's hard...". I have decided that rather than take the easy road and simply give in to this feeling of being 'less capable' than I was, that I am going to push myself at every occasion that I get. It has worked so far, so why not continue?

So I am chatting about how if I were a betting man, I would bet a bunch on me finishing the race dead last. I started painting this mental picture for her. It showed me arriving near the end of the course, with traffic already resuming, drivers angrily honking and swearing at me as I chugged along the street, trying to finish. I told her of me arriving at where the finish line used to be, only to discover that there were no tents, no staff, no crowds, no water bottles... no finish line. Everything had been stripped down, cleaned up, even the discarded water cups, the line hosed off the street... everyone had long since gone home. I carried the idea even further, describing that with no finishing line in sight and not knowing where to stop, I carried on to the very outskirts of Pembroke, limping and wheezing: "I'm in a race, goddammit!! Get outta my way...!!!" and: 'Where the Hell is the finish line...??? This is the longest 5K in bloody history...!!!".

By the time I had done my mini-rant, she was in tears and had to take a brief pause before she could continue her treatment. I was very glad for the humour and pleased that I was able to share it with her. She is a single Mom and works very hard. She is also a very decent, funny and caring human being. For all she does, for me as well as others, it felt nice to be able to lighten her day with a laugh.

But I am going to participate in the ARMY 5K Run this year and my wife has volunteered to be be right there with me, supporting me as she has always done through all of this. I have no doubt that we will finish easily, though not with any 'winning times'. Ready Aye Ready...

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