I woke up this morning with a group of Benedictine monks singing a Latin Gregorian chant in my brain: “Et exsultavit spiritus meus quattro miglia,” they intoned solemnly. Loosely translated, it means, “My spirit is exulting because today, I will walk four miles!”
Actually, I exaggerate. Despite two year of high school Latin, I can’t Gregorian-chant my way out of a paper bag, even in my dreams. But I did wake up this morning resolved to walk four miles.
In the middle of March, when I first developed the patellar tendinitis, I had to completely give up the “2 to 4 a day” walking routine I had done for years. Walking was just too painful. I iced, rested, elevated, braced, prayed, cursed . . . and occasionally I would hobble a mile or so, with shooting pains anywhere there was a tendon in my left knee. By mid-April, the shooting pains had subsided to aches, and I was able to limp a little farther. At the beginning of May, I got a knee brace that allowed me to walk with more confidence—and by mid-May, I was walking 2 to 3 miles regularly—no pain, minor aches, and some stiffness.
This morning was THE morning. Four miles. The Gregorians had spoken—er, chanted.
I hit the Central Lakes at 6:45 a.m. Although I didn’t break any speed records, I walked four pain-free miles. My blog title is legitimate again: 2 to 4 a day. Halleluiah!
Three months after my original injury, I have learned the following truths:
1)I am not a runner. I am a walker. If God had wanted me to be a runner, He would have given me four legs, a tail, and a mother with a partiality for the name “Bambi.”
2)My mental health is directly—and I am serious when I say “directly”—linked to lacing up my walking shoes. I am only one short walk away from Prozac. Some of my toughest days in the past three months were the days when I wasn’t able to do some walking, even if it was only hobbling a few blocks down the street and back.
3)I will never again take the privilege of walking for granted. Every step is a gift; every mile is a reward.
The dream was on hold for three months—you know, the “I dream of hiking into my old age” quote from Marlyn Doan that I optimistically keep in my blog banner. But the dream is back again. In fact, I was dreaming it this morning when the chanting Gregorians woke me up, telling me it was time to get my butt out of bed, lace up my walking shoes, and walk four miles again. And chanting Gregorians never steer you wrong.