I was plodding down the trail, happy to be jogging again – grieved that I had gotten so out of shape. I wasn’t running for time – I was just trying to finish four miles without injury.
I saw them coming down the trail at about a half-mile; three runners in single file. They were flying. I estimated that they were running a low six-minute mile pace. The distance between us melted away, and I picked up the pace and sucked in my gut. I didn’t want to look too bad when we passed. The first runner nodded. The second runner waved. The third runner said, “How’s it going?” He was one of my old training partners. When our eyes met, I could see a question forming as he blew by: “What happened to you, son?”
There was a time I could have held their pace, but that was several years and injuries ago.
I glanced over my shoulder to see them disappear around the bend, stumbling over a root and landing in a heap. I sat there for a moment, but thoughts of my faster days got me back on my feet. Was I going to grovel in regret or run my way back to fitness? I got back into my fat-boy shuffle and remembered the joy of running hard. I ran like a mad man – I relished the future, and I left my regrets in a heap on the Starmount Trail.
Reposted with permission from onehope.net.