When you don't feel good, you figure either:
A. Nobody else does. Or
B. Everyone is perfectly healthy except for you.
You squint when you venture outside to get the mail, whether the sun is out or not. When it's time to pick up your son from school, you hope you remember how to drive, and that your nose doesn't bleed, and that the ibuprofen lasts until you get home.
One day, you are so tired of feeling crummy that you tell yourself: Enough. You put on a red sweater to perk yourself up. You gather your gym stuff, make sure your podcasts have downloaded, make the bed.
At the gym, you're kind of in a daze. You think you're using lower weights than usual, but truthfully, it seems like so long since you've been there you can't quite remember what "usual" is. You consider trying the Stairmaster, or an elliptical machine, but the thought exhausts you.
In the dressing room, you're afraid to catch a glimpse of yourself. You haven't exercised in three days; no doubt you're now a certified chunkster with zero metabolism. You can't think of anything funny, or why you once thought you were in shape.
Then you get to your car, and as you throw your sneakers into the back, you realize (dare you say this?) you feel a teeny bit better. You think of the half-marathon you're scheduled to run on Sunday, the one you've all but told yourself you won't be able to do.
You reread the note from your nephew, with whom you've had a standing date on the starting line for three years now: "Not running? Auntie, you have to run!"
And you start to believe him (at least a little), and your friend who has all along said a variance on this: "You're not going to lose months of conditioning and training if you take an easy week. Save those legs and energy for Sunday."
So though you're not making promises, to yourself or anyone else, you're at least considering the possibilities. And you're pretty sure that when you pick up your son from school today, you'll talk about something funny, something that makes you laugh. Out loud, and for a very long time.
An Older Dad, Down for the Count
1 day ago