Summer feet

Abigail is in the kitchen cooking dinner. It’s something I used to do all the time and still do quite a bit, but I’m grateful for the times when she cooks too. It feels like a great luxury and favor to me. I was so desperate to suck every indulgent morsel out of this little treasure of time that I almost checked LinkedIn to see what folks there were up to. Some indulgences cost more than they are worth.

I have never quite been comfortable with the idea of indulging myself. I do it. A lot. But every Swiss Cake Roll carries with it a bit of shame which is both part of the point and part of the problem. The problem being that I weigh 227 pounds and don’t really enjoy hauling something like 40 extra pounds around. Plus I know the difference between indulging myself and taking care of myself. Taking care of myself includes things like having a nice salad, even if I do make a sad face while I’m eating it.

Or running. I love running. I was not able to do it for a long time. 18 months or so, I think. Now I find that running is hard. The “easy” routes are a challenge and the “hard” routes are currently unthinkable. The chafing is also a challenge, and I am concerned about using petroleum-based products that might combust amid all that friction. Still, I hit a stride yesterday and that made running today all but inevitable.

But I forgot two things: a spoon and some shoes. The spoon was for the chili that I had brought for lunch. I need to not eat out some much at lunchtime. What to do about lunch was a question that would take some figuring. The shoes are somewhat self-explanatory in the running context. I was in the locker room, wearing my shorts and tech-tee when I realized why my bag was so light. Hoping against hope, I went barefoot to the car to see if I had some muddy sneakers on the floorboard in the back.

No such luck, and now I was kind of freaking out. Too much work was circling around in my head, and I needed the endorphins to mellow me out. And there was the fatness. After a few steps in the parking lot, I thought “Hey, the Kenyans do it, and I just talked to some Kenyans on the phone. Why shouldn’t I run barefoot?” Gravel. Sticks. Broken glass. Broken feet. The reasons are on infinity scroll. So I made a bad decision.

I ran without shoes down the sidewalk toward a small city park. People look at you funny for running in that neighborhood, and they really look at you funny when you don’t have any shoes on. The asphalt path in the little park was 1/8 of a mile. Eight laps, all the while a tiny Jack Russell strained against his leash to see what sort of idiot person ran without shoes. I finished the mile and went to the bottom of the hill, through the trendy arts district, and back up towards the starting place.

The best part were the bricks in the oldest section of sidewalk. Rather than being rough and hard, they were warm and smooth. I’ll run barefoot again just to run on them. But I won’t run barefoot tomorrow. A couple of new callouses are getting started on my big toes. Those will have to mature a bit before I take them out again. My legs, however, feel the best they have in a long time.

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