January 22, 2014
I used to be afraid of cold weather like this because it brings out eczema on my face.
This winter I’ve made a conscious decision not to fear the cold. But to brave it.
Some time shortly after the first anniversary of Mama’s death last March I tried running for the first time in twenty-eight years.
Last time I had tried it was with her.
I was fifteen, and my sleezy gym teacher thought I needed to work on my stamina. So Mama offered to work on hers, too, with me. We donned our sweats and sneakers and started up the hill to the woods behind the house.
That’s when, very quickly, the idea of its impossibility lodged itself in me. Running was impossibly painful, impossibly breathless. Impossible, period. What I felt overruled anything Mama could have said to the contrary.
I felt the same way trying again at age 43.
But I told myself something else: Nothing is impossible. You know that now. Mama has died. If that was possible, then anything is. Even you going running. The impossible is possible.
I’ve proven myself right.
I can run 2 kilometers at a stretch now. Wouldn’t exactly call that serious stamina yet, but more than I’ve ever had before. And some days I actually itch to get out in the cold and defy it with the heat I work up inside my body.