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Last week I wrote about how when you’ve been sick for so long, you forget what it’s like to be healthy.
Last week I got sparse glimpses of that healthy life I used to live.
This week, though?
This week I’m really, deeply remembering all the most important feelings I used to know so well.
On Saturday, I remembered what it feels like to wake up with the sun on a weekend.
I remembered what it feels like to spend quite a while in the bathroom, eat a bit for breakfast and then lace up my Adrenalines to head toward Central Park.
I remembered what it feels like to start running at Engineers’ Gate.
I remembered how crowded the main drive gets during marathon training season and I remembered that it’s sometimes smarter to run with the flow of runners rather than against it — even if that means slightly less exciting people watching along the way.
I remembered what the west side hills feel like. (They hurt.)
I remembered what it feels like to have a million route options within Central Park, and I remembered every twist, turn, incline and decline on all of them.
I remembered what it feels like to finish a loop of the park and find myself back at Engineers’ Gate.
I remembered what it feels like to keep going.
I remembered the unsteady ground on the Bridle Path and I remembered the gentle left turns along the Reservoir.
Then, 10 miles later, I remembered what it feels like to run double-digit miles. It feels amazing.
Best of all? I remembered how good it feels to approach a bathroom, know it was open for my use — and then keep running because I don’t need it.
On Saturday, I spent the morning running in Central Park for the first time since February. It was my first bathroom-stop-free run of 2013.
As soon as I finished my run — at Engineers’ Gate, of course — I texted my friend Kristan. And then, of course, I visited my dear imaginary friend Bernie and shed [more than] a few happy tears. I couldn’t wipe the silly-stupid grin off my face for the rest of the day.
My first double-digit miles.
My first entirely stop-free run.
I remembered everything so clearly — including the amazing smell of my hard-earned mango soap.
And I remembered that being healthy, if only for the span of 10 minutes or 10 miles, feels so good.
Oh and in the aftermath of my runner’s high, I remembered that sometimes really good runs can be a fluke. So to be sure this one wasn’t, I attempted to make my weekday morning run return on Tuesday.
7.25 miles. No bathroom stops. Countless hugs, high fives and cheers from my friends in the park, and a boy on a bike poised at Engineers’ Gate when I was done.
I like remembering.