Wow, I feel so amazing and young as I walk with my wife and son from the street we parked on across the bridge to the playground by the swimming pool. I am ready to take the dog up to where we used to live, as we pass by where I found her, and she keeps wanting to go back and be with the pack. We don’t make it especially far before we turn around. Some women who can’t be much younger than me go racing past and they are wearing those tight running pants that are more or less like long spandex biking pants updated to be kind of like yoga pants, except I just don’t remember seeing so many women wearing these tight pants with no shorts or anything over them the last time I used to run regularly. You can see pretty much everything.
But, then, we go back home and I decide to keep up the momentum, and shit, it’s hard, actually running–no, shuffling along like I’m sixty. To think that only seven years ago I was in the best shape of my life and now I can’t run a mile without my legs getting tired and my lungs getting winded and my whole self getting sore. I still feel pretty great even as I shuffle back home, except when I take my shirt off, I realize that I have gotten pretty fat. I think I’m back to being as fat as I was when my son was born. That’s what eating rich food and drinking beer every day with minimal exercise will do for you.
Can I ever get back to even being modestly in shape? Not for anyone but myself. Just to show myself that I am still capable of running 5Ks and 10Ks with breathless ease and occasionally running the half marathon with some pain and effort. Nothing more. I don’t need to look like Vin Diesel or bike like Lance Armstrong when he was always winning. I just need to be free of this gut, so that I don’t look and feel like my father.
We booked our vacation to New York this morning. I’ve just about maxed out my credit card. It was a little painful to do at first, but then I started to feel great after it was over. Barring major illnesses, deaths, accidents, etc., we will be in NYC for the first four nights of spring. It’s exciting because it’s no longer just a thing hoped for. It’s worth the extra debt. It will be exceptionally wonderful, even if spring isn’t quite in full bloom yet, and we aren’t staying that many days. I’ve only been there twice, and I pretty much loved everything about it both times, even though I really only did the most touristy stuff in Manhattan. The last time I went, I was about six months into dating my wife and three months away from asking her to marry me. I went alone, and avoided nice restaurants and broadway shows. I spent almost all of my time in museums and walking up and down the entire stretch from Katz’s Deli to Columbia. So many people have written so much about NYC, that it seems absurd for me, a person whose spent all of about two weeks total there, to say anything about why I liked it so much both times I went.
I am generally a very claustrophobic person who doesn’t like being around people much, and would prefer to spend most of my time out in nature, so it doesn’t make sense the joy I have felt the entire time I’ve been there both times. I will have to think about this some more. I guess I really do like people a lot in the abstract, and it’s easy to keep humanity at arm’s length and in the abstract in a place like New York, except, you do have to talk to a lot of strangers just to figure out your way around there.