Saturday, April 30, 2011

Long-Distance Runner

The fact is, I don’t want to have this surgery. And I certainly don’t want to imagine what it will be like if it goes wrong. I don’t want to be the unfortunate disable people barely remember. I bitterly wish I could be back to the way I was before the accident, and not really so athletically different, necessarily. I was trim and fit and strong, not any good at team sports but mostly unhindered when it came to running. That was one way I took after my college roommates, the track stars. I was never talented like them, but I was very eager, very dedicated. Even now, if I could trust my body a little more, I know there’s a lot I could do.

I don’t have to fault myself for feeling this way. The Lord wept in the Garden on the night He was betrayed, as pastors have said to me many times. “Who will free me from the body of this death?” Well, I know the answer to that one. “We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye.” I imagine of kind of ecstatic pirouette, a little bit like going for a long run on the beach when you’re so new and fit that your body almost doesn’t know about effort. The apostle Paul couldn’t have meant something entirely different from that. So there’s that to look forward to.

I say this because I really feel as though I’m failing, and not primarily in the medical sense. It’s more about the weeping emotion, the worry. And I feel as if I am being left out, as though I’m some straggler and people won’t remember to stay back for me. I often think about what I can’t do, comparing myself to them. I’ll be on my bicycle, happily riding around the inner loop in Prospect Park, and the sun will be shining, and my legs will be pumping, but all the while I am staring at the runners. I had a dream like that the other night. In the dream, my legs wouldn’t move.

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