How would it be to never run?
Wayne and I met through our running club. On our second date (what I have often joked, still hasn’t ended), we woke up the next morning, blissful, and headed upstate to go trail running. I felt so happy to finally have met a runner – but there were so many things other than running that we had in common. Like biking around Brooklyn, or eating good food, or talking about politics or good books or what we heard on NPR, or street art, or traveling, or Burning Man (eventually for Wayne; I had to introduce him to it.), or the beaches, or heading to the parks for summertime picnics, or petting the Luna Dune, and basically, everything else. But still – it was nice to run.
All our runs together weren’t blissful, but it still was fun to have a built-in running partner. In the cobblestone streets of Peru, or the beaches of Zipolite, Mexico, or through the gorgeous eternal spring-like streets of Medellin, we ran together, exploring, laughing, talking in English when Spanish was all that filled our ears otherwise. He met me on Valentine’s Day on the Williamsburg Bridge, and we stopped home and bought a bottle of champagne to drink post-run. We ran through the streets at night, streets that were so empty we felt like we owned them, finishing off in Kellogg’s Diner, eating food that only tastes good at 3 a.m. In the Marin Headlands, and in Big Sur, Wayne paused so I could hug the giant trees we ran past. We crossed the finish line of the Brooklyn Marathon together hand-in-hand. In his first ultramarathon, Burning Man 50k, when I saw him at the turn-around point, he just bawled in my arms. “Cherie, this is so hard. I love you.” And I kissed and held him tightly.
This year, he didn’t run the Burning Man 50k; he was injured. When I came in for my last four mile loop, he was laughing, drinking a beer. “Please, come out with me. I’m having a terrible race.” I had spent approximately 40 minutes in the (thankfully clean) Port-a-Potties that dotted the course. He ran into our tent to pull on running shorts and sneakers. “Let’s go!”
We ran down C, making a right on 7:30. I ran like a maniac, weaving in and out, stopping at Bubbles and Bass for a cup of champagne. We finished, and I spent a good two hours hunched over sitting on a cooler, clutching my miserable tummy, in between handing out medals and sweaty hugs to finishers. It was so hard for him to watch and support and believe in my race, as an injured runner.
He has been having issues for a year and a half and was told this morning that he shouldn’t run again. Nothing impact. He has a form of arthritis and now is starting a round of oral steroids. Next up, injections.
It sucks so bad when you can’t do what you love most. He is hoping that the steroids and if he does strengthening and core that he’ll be able to start running someday. He is signed up for the Brooklyn Marathon this autumn, as am I; I had hoped we could celebrate together.
From so many misdiagnoses to a depressing diagnosis, I hope he can get to where he can once again, do one of the things that he loves most in the world.