He couldn’t run with the same speed and ease as he once did but that didn’t mean he couldn’t run. Didn’t mean he wasn’t as fast as he had once been or that his body wouldn’t respond when called upon because it would and it did.
The real difference between then and now was that it took a few minutes to warm up before he could really start moving and his endurance wasn’t what it had once been.
Sometimes it was hard to accept these changes, to know that his physical limits seemed to be more defined than they had once been. It seemed to be like that in every area of his life including the bedroom and that didn’t make him any happier.
But when he had mentioned it to her she had told him she thought it was in his head and told him she was happy. Initially he didn’t believe her but the more they did it the more he began to think maybe she was being honest and not trying to spare his feelings.
Not that it mattered, been months since he had last seen her in person and there was no telling when he would again.
Still he held onto it because he thought of it as proof that maybe the limits he thought he was working under weren’t as strict as he worried about.
He liked that, liked it because he always had tested the limits and he was ready to push himself again to see just how far he could go.
Some of it had everything to do with curiosity but much had to do with genetics.
He looked at his father and shook his head, dad had done a lousy job of taking care of himself. He had never exercised the way he should and though there had been moments in time where he had been good about his diet for the most part he just ate as he pleased and now they were learning how big a price there was to pay for that behavior.
Sometime in the near future dad was either going to have to go on dialysis or receive a kidney transplant.
It was hard to reconcile the thought with the blue skies that beckoned to him outside and not just because of the dialysis/transplant news but because dad’s health wasn’t all that good to begin with, there were multiple issues there and reason to wonder if the end of life was much closer than anyone thought.
One of his sisters and he had spent most of a telephone call discussion options and wondering if either of them should volunteer to give up a kidney.
There were so many questions and yet so very few clear answers. It was easy to get caught up in worrying about what could or might happen and hard to believe that everything would work itself out on its own.
The only thing he could control was his own behavior and how he lived which was why he was more focused than before on what his body could do and how long it could do it for.
Out on the basketball court the guys suggested he slow down and when he jumped over a stack of chairs to after a loose ball they asked him why he was playing so hard.
“Because one day I won’t be able to play as I like to and I am not ready to change.”
They told him that people get hurt playing like that and he laughed. “People get hurt crossing the street and in stupid accidents around the house.”
One of them asked him if he realized how many of the guys he knocked down or threw out of his way and he laughed again. “If I foul you than call the foul, but don’t whine at me for playing hard. If you don’t want to get hit by the train stay out of my way.”
The only response he got was a smile from his team and silence from the other side. He really wasn’t trying to hurt anyone. He liked playing hard.
But he also knew that some of the energy came from concern about his father and his desire to make sure that he didn’t turn into him.
Maybe that made him play with a chip on his shoulder. Maybe thinking about how short life could be for others he knew pushed him to go harder too and maybe occasionally he’d think about her and wonder how long it would be before they would see each other again.
It made him shake his head, too many maybes and not enough definitelys.
Thought about calling her to check in and decided against it. She knew where he was and she had asked for the distance so he was giving it to her.
But he knew what he thought, what he saw and what he believed and that was enough to make him feel pretty confident. And regardless of whether he was right or wrong the push to get in better shape was critical so he kept doing what he was doing.
If there was a way to outrun the sun for another day he would find it or at least be confident that he was giving his best effort to make it happen.
And that and the warm sun on his back was enough to make him smile.