years ago, during a particularly un-motivated/lazy period on my part, i remember complaining to that Gemini Cricket about how my physique just wasn't what i wanted it to be (that old worn-out schtick that has slouched on my shoulder for years). solution-minded and never one to commiserate with self-loathing, he suggested i go for a jog. feeling un-motivated as i was, jogging was not what i had in mind. i had run in the past (mainly to keep up with my boyfriend ;-) ), but never really loved it. my reply was something about how jogging takes so much energy ~ why run instead of walk (or something like that)? his emphatic reply is one that has stuck with me (obviously if i'm writing about it now): he said, "because you can."
i finally did get back to jogging, for myself this time. and for years i used that phrase as a kind of guilty kick-in-the-ass for those times when i didn't feel like tying the shoes and getting out the door. it probably helped me run my marathon.
the first few days after Anjali's and my emergent C-section, it was a three-person effort to get me out of and back into my hospital bed. when i shuffled to the bathroom, i was advised to hold a pillow to my belly to ease the discomfort. to me, it felt as if my guts might literally fall out if i didn't hold that pillow there. ever capable and sturdy, if not the model-svelte we Americans are programmed to desire, my body was truly incapacitated for the first time. my mental perception of Me was taken apart and put back together as dramatically as was my belly. my two best friends held me up as i worked very hard to make my way down the hall and back to exercise my circulation and strengthen my will. running seemed like a distant dream.
marvelously, in a few days, the outer staples were removed. and in a few weeks, i was walking a mile or more! i was in awe of Nature's capacity to heal itself.
it took us a few months before Anjali felt like doing without the booby for a long enough period, and before i felt physically able to jog again. but that first venture out the door felt sooo freeing! from an observer's view, the movement could probably be called "lumbering", but to me, it felt as if i were flying. i found many excuses to stop for breaks, but i did it!
as i went, my mind wandered ~ as is part of the fun of the jog, and landed back to that conversation between Gemini and me those howmany years ago. only this time, "because you can," took on a whole new meaning to me. it wasn't a slightly sarcastic punchline; it was an empowering encouragement. so many people, for whatever reason, really cannot tie the shoes and go for a jog even on their most motivated days. and, for whatever reason, i can.