I’ve kept quiet. This journey back to health seems to have silenced me rather abruptly. Perhaps a part of me thought it would make dull reading, which underestimates my reading audience – I expect many of you runners have been injured and felt much of what I’ve felt in the process. Maybe you would have liked to share my journey?
Here’s what’s happened, in a nutshell: I maintained my commitment to returning to running slowly and healthfully, beginning with a small 3k walk/run as a dip-my-toe in strategy. The increase has been super-slow, to a 4.5k week, then the following weeks total km of 6, 8.2, 10.7, 12, 13.3, 15.2, and 16.85. Then I dropped back again, to 15, and 15.76, a forced decrease due to travel. I’m still running in shoes with a slight heel lift, which I hate, and make my hips hurt, but I’m going to do this until my foot feels perfect. I’ve done one race since the Roller Coaster half-marathon, the Salomon Trail Series Studley Park 5k, a fast and thrilling run, that reminded me why I love speed!
In the midst of all this return to running, the momentum I had long wished to sweep me off my feet finally showed up. Kind of like a tsunami. After seven years of planning, I spent June having my office torn apart. It was an ugly mustard-yellow, with huge built-in robes that I’d stuffed full when we moved, and left alone in dismay all this time. It was a mess and not a place that inspired me. So I hired someone to design a brand-new bookcase, and someone else to tear out the ugly old wardrobe, re-plaster the wall, and paint the room a warm, clean white (I’ll share the photos in another blog). The bookshelf is due to arrive in September, and I’m still on the search for a beautiful reading chair in aqua, and a warm charcoal-grey rug. It is feeling more like home, more like me, than ever before. The bonus was I got to go through all my old books and papers, and revisit my roots, and think again about who I am, and who I intend to be.
Only trouble was, my computer got full of construction dust, and died. It took a week or two to get it fixed, and with that, time slipped away. No writing on my new novel; no blogging. Just a lot of vacuuming up construction dust and choosing paint. But all for a good cause.
Just when I was getting back on my feet, I learned, to my great sadness, that my favorite Aunt was dying of cancer back in New York. I had let my passport expire, so spent a few weeks chasing up a new one, and then, just last week, had an emergency trip back to see my Aunt and say goodbye.
It was wonderful to see my friends and family after eleven long years away. I had a sense of homecoming, of being surrounded by familiar accents, food and places. I ran around the local neighborhood on Long Island where my brother lives,
in a nature reserve with my best friend, on the treadmill in my hotel on 57th Street, and finally, in a small, lovely touch of home, with a friend from Australia who happened to be in New York, on a 9k loop around Central Park.
Those running moments were my touchstone, my way of finding my way home again. Yet I missed my family in Australia with a terrible ache.
Six days ago, I returned to Australia. I’ve felt unsettled and uncertain where home really is. Yesterday I got the news that my Aunt had passed away. I’ve been pondering life and death and home. I’ve been running and swimming and lifting weights, and hugging my children, husband, dog and cats.
In the next few weeks, I hope to get back to blogging more regularly. Please excuse my long absence. Life seemed to whisk me away from my computer, and my blogging skills feel rusty and strange. If I think too much before I press publish, I’ll scare myself out of telling the truth so bear with me as I learn to write compelling, exciting prose again.
Seems I have to stumble around a bit in writing as in life to get back on my feet…