On Big Yellow Taxis and pink running socks

“Don’t it always seem to go that you don’t know what you’ve got ’til it’s gone?”
— Joni Mitchell

It’s been a Joni Mitchell kind of day.

Late last summer, I discovered a rather alarming symptom that seemed to be consistent with a type of injury that could end my distance-running days forever. It wasn’t the sort of thing that would interfere with anything I really needed to be doing, but it could have kept me from doing some things I wanted to be doing — chief among them, running.

I’ve been guilty of taking running for granted. I’m good at signing up for marathons and then dropping down to a shorter race at the last minute because I didn’t bother to train. I’m good at running half-marathons on nothing but muscle memory, prayer and sheer force of will. And I’m awesome at deciding it’s too hot to run, or too cold, or too late, or too early, or I’m too busy, or I’m sore, or [insert lame excuse here].

All those times I blew off a run, I assumed I wasn’t missing much. It wasn’t worth the trouble. I could do it later, when I got a hand free. Not now. Maybe tomorrow. Not today.

And then one day, apropos of nothing, I discovered that where running was concerned, tomorrow apparently had ceased to exist.

It’s hard to understand how much you love doing something until you face the possibility that you may never get to do it again.

The story of how an erstwhile Christian Scientist ended up in a doctor’s office on a bright July morning is way too long to go into here, but the upshot is that I walked into the doctor’s office fearing the worst, and I walked out of the doctor’s office an hour later and went to lunch.

A nice, low-fat, high-carb lunch.

A distance runner sort of lunch.

When I finished lunch, Ron took me to a great little mom-and-pop store, where I bought an outrageously expensive pair of socks. Screaming pink, moisture-wicking socks.

Distance runner socks.

And when I got off work this evening, I put on my new socks and went downtown and had maybe the greatest run in the history of ever, with magic light filtering through the trees above me and the river murmuring beside me and the scent of honeysuckle all around me.

Cape has a rose-themed B&B, a boutique, and several swinging hot spots. But if you swap the big yellow taxi for a pair of pink running socks, you can still see quite a bit of Paradise along the way.