My public persona may be that of a tough guy, but I’m really a momma’s boy at heart. Independent of our 1000-mile challenge, Mom has set other challenges for herself for this year. The biggest challenge she set was that she wanted to run 1000 “intentional” miles in the first 101 days of the year (101 because she’s signed up for a half marathon on that last day). But with 950 miles behind her, and only 50 miles to go, Mom’s body rebelled and started breaking down.
On our early morning run yesterday, Mom was the one that pulled up short. I thought that maybe she saw a squirrel or something, but then she limped the next couple of steps. Did she have a dingleberry? I thought we were going to have to walk home, but she pulled it together and shuffled back to the house. But then she didn’t go back out for her solo run. That’s very unlike her… Then, when she got back at night, she took me and my sister for a looooong walk around the neighborhood, when we normally would have run. I could tell that she was grouchy because she kept muttering “muff raking samovar batch!” which is a strange thing she says when something surprises her and makes her angry. On this morning’s “run” we didn’t even make it out of our cul-de-sac before she turned back around. I was so confused and refused to walk back in the house. She dragged me back in, grabbed a sweatshirt and then we started walking. Have you ever heard of such nonsense?! I’ve never seen her do that before. As she walked, she explained to me that sometimes when you’re in the home stretch of a very long race, and your body is breaking down, you have to choose between compromising your expectations or giving up. She didn’t want to give up, so while she let her muscles recover so that they wouldn’t bite her anymore, she was going to walk.
I could see that she was sad and frustrated, so that’s when I surprised her. Normally when we walk I pull on her to hurry up and she talks about more “samovar batches,” complaining that I’m hurting her. Today I walked behind her the whole morning and didn’t yank on the leash once so that she wouldn’t have to dig in to the ground with her wrecked calf muscles. I didn’t sniff around, and I didn’t pretend I had to poo so that I could look around on people’s lawns. Mom kept looking back to make sure that the leash was still attached. She was more surprised than that time that she saw Brokeback Mountain and learned that the girl from Princess Diaries could act. More surprised than when she saw a turkey fly. More surprised than my sister-cat was when she learned that the front door also led to outside…
–Oscar the Good Boy (for once)