fast has passed

Date September 14, 2008

Daddy always tells me that I have two speeds: really fast and stop. Emotionally, he’s absolutely right. I’m 100% sunshine the biggest part of the time, but when the rain comes, it gets ugly. Give me a little space, some comfort food, and a good cry and I work my way back to sunny skies. Foot speed, however, is another story entirely.

The truth is ten years and thirty pounds ago I was fast. Really fast. But that was then.

These days I do my best to cover the distance. Nonetheless, when my sisterinlaw asked if I wanted to train for a halfmarathon with her, I couldn’t say no. After all, her hair is always perfect, pink is her signature color, and she wears heels— a lot. If she can do it, I can do it, right?

So, the training has begun and it’s embarrassing, mortifying even, but I’m taking the advice of the tortoise on this one. “Slow and steady gets the job done.”

I ran a 10k last week and more than a few hares passed me by, but I know the “Bravo, amor!”s and the “Buena, mona”s meant far less to them. As did running by the Catedral or the Fundadores or seeing a crowd of people at the finish line waiting for me. Me.

And in the front of them, my nine year old angel, Martin. “Run, Miss! It is terminaste! Mire! Ella es mi profesora!”

But I’m not training for a 10k, I’m training for twice that distance. There’s much work left to do.

My alarm goes off at 4:30. I fumble for it, silence it, and then push back on my hands. I feel the stretch in my chest and back as I look out my window at a Manizales that is still asleep. Socks, shirt, shorts, shoes. Ponytail, cap, watch.

And then I’m down the stairs. Freddie, the portero, greets me and tells me to “go with care.” I take my first few steps and feel the lead that is my legs. Slowly, they turn over and I somehow settle into an easy rhythm. In, 2,3. Out, 2, 3.

I pass the street sweeper who smiles and tips his hat, Bruno’s promising that I’ll eat there soon, and then up the hill. A wide turn at the top and then I’m headed back down. The man on the bike pedals by, the old couple that holds hands, the coffee shop.

Night is giving up her battle and the sky softens to gray. In, 2, 3. Out, 2, 3. A big loop and back up the mountain toward home. My legs are working harder and the pain is a welcome one.

Then, it is here. The bleeding sun, the clouds a purple fit for a King.

Come and listen. Come and listen. All you who are thirsty. Come. There is a song in the sunrise and I praise the King who has me hearing the song in South America for awhile.

With love and tired legs,


This post was originally sent as a mass email in November 2007. My preblog life.

2 Responses to “fast has passed”

  1. Betty Anderson-Crane said:

    Your words are dynamic as you keep pulling me along with you. I’m there longing for Bruno’s as I hear the music of the people and push past a couple whose goals are met. Keep training your muse…BA-C

  2. Lou said:

    I am out of breath just reading. That is a tribute to your great writing and the fact that I can’t even read about running with out getting out of breath.

    Love Ya