Today I started back with the treadmill. I got on there before lunch with the goal of two miles in mind. I set it up in front of the television and hitched the speed up as high as I could get it without having to hold the handrails; during each commercial break I popped the speed up as high as I could get it without falling off. It took me a little over 40 minutes, but I got my two miles in.
While I was running, I was thinking. I haven't seen Barb since 2007. I haven't seen my dad since 2008. I was big then and I have gained weight. While I have been much better lately, I am not the healthy eater that Barb is. I am certainly not as active as she is. If one of us is a candidate for a stroke (or any other health problem), it's me.
And then I thought some more. If this has occurred to me, surely it has crossed the minds of my dad and my brother. The hesitation in mentioning weight pretty much confirms that. Not that they would wish that on me. Not that they would even have a "why not her" moment--just, you know, I'm sure it's crossed their minds.
And then I started thinking about Barb. She started her physical therapy today. It's an all-day event that will go on for the whole week. Here is this person who, although she has done everything "right", is being forced to learn to walk again. She would never, but if it was me? I think I would feel bitter toward me.
And, because of who I am, I have to widen that thought vein. Who am I to sit here and allow myself to get this way when there are people who want to walk and skip and run and dance but can't? People with debilitating conditions or injuries from accidents and wars? How dare I take this ability for granted? Squander it? What gives me that right?
So I pushed hard. I finished my workout. I went through my day. And after the kids were in bed? I got back on that treadmill. I did another two miles. This time it took me a little over 37 minutes.
I don't know how long I can keep up this pace but, for just this week at least, I want to push myself for Barb. While I am on that treadmill I am thinking of her and sending her out all the drive and determination I can pull out of my lazy butt. I don't know how much good it will do, but I think it will help me be able to look her in the eye when I see her again. And that's worth something to me.