The Memory Of Running

I think I’m remembering how to do this whole thing.

How could I not be excited to get outside into this sunny day? I popped straight out of bed and in an unprecedented display of winter running enthusiasm, got right into my tights and fleece. I stretched in a warm, wide sunbeam illuminating the corner of 81st and Central Park West, then ran a full loop — my first of ’05 — with Chris, Jen and Ethan. Ethan was less than thrilled with what I imagine to be a pretty cool ride around the park, but I kept him laughing will elephant impersonations and general tomfoolery. Then Chris and I paused in front of Starbucks, and he lost his shit. Figuratively.

I stopped into Andy’s Deli for my favorite post-run breakfast: two eggs, ham and cheese on a roll and a Gatorade. It was a beautiful morning. I was happy. I watched some TV, and started tracking my cover of “Anna Begins.” Around noon I was like, ‘F it. I’m taking a nap.’ And I did. Naps are a sign of one of two things: depression, or exhaustion. I vote the latter.

Chris, Jason and I met at The Dead Poet for a few pints, some wings, football on the big screen and pool. Sounds nothing like me, right? Well, I wasn’t really watching the football. I was there for the company. And the wings and beer. Which was kind of fun with the sun is still out. Once it set, I finished tracking “Anna Begins,” ate some pizza, and watched — gasp! — VH1’s “Surreal Life.” How can you not like Chris Williams?

Saturday was equally fun. I had coffee with my pediatric cardiologist friend Rob (no, it wasn’t a check up, but I did note the irony), saw the very brilliant “A Very Long Engagement” at Sunshine Landmark with movie buddy extraordinaire Rina, grabbed a few drinks and apps at Essex (Schiller’s was too crowded; I couldn’t deal), and had a few more beers with four young ladies — lucky me — at some pub on 4th Street. (Truth is, I was right around the corner from Ms. Klein’s reading, but sadly missed it for a conspiracy of reasons.)

Rin gingerly pointed out to me that I am either really busy or not busy at all. I have a tendency to spend the first quarter of the year recuperating from the last, then formulating a madcap plan to sprint through the year: new records, tours, triathlons, marathons, travel, and oh yeah, work. I gotta’ figure out a new strategy. Like a more even distribution of stuff. A little less compulsion. A little more time to live, to feel, to observe and process. And maybe a little time to rest.

And so, the specifics of what I do with myself and my time notwithstanding, I guess the lesson is clear. And once again, it’s a lesson learned from running. I know intellectually that running is good for my soul, even if my body would rather lie in bed and mope. Likewise life outside. I may not make it out all of the time. I reserve the right to mope. But I’m workin’ on it.

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