The Run

The Fantasy:

She stretches briefly, lengthening her muscles, feeling that release that only a good stretch will give a person, and she heads down the sidewalk. Slowly at first, feeling her natural rhythm take over, gliding with the wind. She runs through the neighborhood easily, warming up with each long stride. Once across the main road, she picks up the pace a bit, iPod blaring, shade keeping her cool. She feels energized and alert. The temperature is perfect, cool enough that she doesn’t need water, warm enough that extra clothes are not needed. She feels like a true athlete as she flies by other joggers, supporting her belief that she is in the best shape of her life. By the time she gets home, almost two hours have passed. The sun is setting, and she is thinking of all of the things she can still accomplish this evening.

The Reality:

She doesn’t stretch, quite certain that it will expend all of her free energy and instead walks a block to warm up. Once to the park she starts out slow, slower than when she was walking, picking up the pace only to get past the sprinkler. Her legs feel heavy, as if she is jogging with weights on her ankles. Her head pounds in rhythm with her feet hitting the pavement. It is 3:00 in the afternoon, the hottest time of day. It is also 97 degrees and ridiculously hot, even in the shade…of which there is little. 4 blocks out and she is already pouring water on her head. 6 blocks out and she is planning her path back. A few more blocks and she is spotted stopped under a tree begging for rain. Or a ride back home. By the time she makes it home, she is walking, and purple, and tired. She considers getting more water, but it sounds like too much work.