I used to be a marathon runner and an aerobics instructor but I ruined my knees with all the pounding. I've run 6 marathons in my life, including the Boston Marathon. For those who aren't familiar with the marathon distance, it's 26.2 miles. In order to qualify to run in the Boston Marathon, I had to complete the distance in less than 3 1/2 hours, which I did. I did all this in my 20's and 30's and it's now been more than 25 years since I had to stop running. Sometimes I still miss it. I always watch the Olympic marathon and it gives me chills when the lead runner enters the stadium.
So why am I blathering on about this stuff, probably more than you really wanted to know? Because I often wonder why I do this. It certainly isn't giving me the body of a fashion model. In fact, judging from the other bodies at the gym, I'm lucky I've got the body I have. Gravity and the aging process are merciless tyrants and all we can do is hold them off a little. I always think of the quote from the Red Queen in Lewis Carrolls's Through the Looking Glass. She says to Alice: "Now, here, you see, it takes all the running you can do, to keep in the same place. If you want to get somewhere else, you must run at least twice as fast as that!" That's how I feel - that I am running as fast as I can just to stay in the same place - watch the diet, take the medications, exercise regularly, wear a seat belt, yada yada yada. My doctor says I'm doing very well (although she leaves unsaid "for someone your age.")
Longevity is in my genes - my grandmother lived to nearly 100 and my mother is fast approaching 97. So I had better take good care of this body because I know I won't be getting another one. And I want to be able to watch my grandchildren grow up and have my great-grandchildren. And still be doing art.
Here is your reward for reading through all this - the azaleas in my back yard are nearly in full bloom.