Dinner in spirit

I ran.

I used to do that a lot, but back pain stopped me in my tracks (hyuk, hyuk) many moons ago.

Down fifteen pounds and feeling the goodness of having so few food substitute toxins in my system, I felt compelled to lace up and go. I thought I might run five minutes, or eight, but I made it twenty whole minutes before I had to slow it down to a walk.

Yes, I’ve run a couple of marathons, but twenty minutes was a victory tonight.

Eight minutes would have been a victory.

Or four, if I’d pushed myself to my limit.

As I slowed to a walk, I thought about Elisa. I’ve written about her before, this law student whose death indirectly–through her memorial scholarship–paved the way for my finishing law school.


She died while running.

What would she give to have twenty more minutes to run?

In my last post I complained about only being able to eat a dozen unadorned foods for the time being.

That’s twelve foods I can eat, because I am here.

Twelve foods Elisa cannot eat, because she is not here.

I wish Elisa and I could share a meal. That can never happen in body, so I must do it in spirit, thinking of her and being grateful for the abundance in my life today, an abundance throughout which memory of her will forever be woven.

Twelve foods. Twenty minutes.

One full life.

  1. January 25, 2013 at 2:37 am

    I am glad you are feeling well enough to run…and that your body is free of those allegens/toxins. Enjoy your meal with Elisa – what does one serve for a meal in spirit?

    • January 25, 2013 at 5:39 am

      Appetizers, the main course and dessert are all gratitude, slathered in more gratitude. It doesn’t do much for the mouth, but it sure does fill the heart.

  2. January 25, 2013 at 4:14 am

    Good for you to get out and run with your heart, not the aches to lead the way. Congratulations on that accomplishment, when it takes its toll in pain.
    Just a thought. I used to run track and do field in ms and hs. But it was hard on my knees and ankles. I turned to swimming — not as easy as just going outside to run — as one needs a pool and your hair is always wet giving way to hair damage, etc. Yes, swimming may be an alternative. Does L’il D need swimming lessons?

    • January 25, 2013 at 5:43 am

      This time there was no pain, not even this morning when I awakened! I take this as a heartening sign. Still, I’m reluctant to call running my workout go-to; I know it’s taking a toll with every step. I love it but don’t want to do it more than a couple of times a week. I should look into swimming, most especially since I promised D I would start taking him. Thank you for the sweet reminder!

  3. January 25, 2013 at 5:21 am

    Congrats on your accomplishment… 20 minutes is awesome! It’s amazing where one’s mind goes while running/walking out there on your own; I love the fact that yours went to Elisa, what you can do and she cannot, what you can eat and what she cannot.

    You have a beautiful mind, Deb, and you paint your thoughts with such beautiful words!!!

    • January 25, 2013 at 5:47 am

      That’s one of my favorite parts of running: the chance to let the mind wander and just run along with it! I feel so free, even if I am not running like the cheetah I feel inspired by. ๐Ÿ™‚

      I like to think, too, of the moment I got that notification in my law school mailbox. I remember staring at the letter, but had no idea how long and deeply would its subject move me. She comes to mind at such seemingly random times, and I am reminded to be thankful–for her, for life. And, right now, for you. Thank you. ♥

      • January 27, 2013 at 6:43 am

        Seriously, you are making me tear up! Thank you, Friend! ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. January 25, 2013 at 5:25 am

    I think you and I are a little on the same track. I love you are feeling better! Even with only twelve foods, you are feeling better.

    • January 25, 2013 at 5:49 am

      I really am! I had another reaction Tuesday morning and spent an hour or two crying, but that afternoon, I needed to take neither antihistamines nor anti inflammatory medicine. I feel better by the day, and last night’s spontaneous run was the marker of just how much so! Love you. ♥

  5. January 25, 2013 at 6:29 am

    Congratulations on getting back to running. I don’t run because of my bad knees. I like to walk–without the dogs, or else we’d go in slow motion. Enjoy your runs. I admire you for doing it.

    • January 26, 2013 at 5:06 am

      It feels so good to be getting back. I hope I’ll stay back. Whether or not I do, I’ll keep trying to get out there for 30 minutes of walking daily. I feel so much better when I get that motion in!

  6. January 25, 2013 at 8:14 am

    I know these are awful, but those Vibram toe shoes? They’re great for running if you’ve had injuries. By keeping you running on the fronts of your feet, your legs can act as springs instead of slamming to the ground, like when you land on your heels. Just start with short, short distances while your tendons adjust.

    • January 26, 2013 at 5:09 am

      They’re not awful! I really love them, although my current pair is beyond wearing. I actually used to use them on mornings I didn’t feel like running barefoot, which was how I ran most of my Portland half-marathon in 2010. I don’t think I’ll do the barefoot thing again, but one slow, inefficient run in regular shoes was definitely enough to get me planning a trip to REI. This weekend!

  7. January 25, 2013 at 10:48 am

    15 pounds the hard way, poor baby, but good for you! I just started running on the treadmill (I always just walk fast) and I’m up to 1-1/2 minutes at a stretch. Yeah, it’s that pathetic. But I figure I have to start somewhere. You’re inspiring me!

    • January 26, 2013 at 5:12 am

      That’s not pathetic at all! A group of Japanese coworkers who always saw me running asked how they could be runners. I didn’t have much I could offer save: start small. Run five minutes. Can’t run for five? Then three. Not three? One’s a good start. Each minute is a foundation for the many more minutes to come, and a testament to perseverance. In short, rock on!

  8. January 25, 2013 at 11:31 am

    Thank you for writing this.I feel so ashamed because I have been feeling sorry for myself due to problems with my knees.I have so much to be thankful for and you made me realize that.

    • January 26, 2013 at 5:15 am

      There is no need to feel ashamed for what you feel! It is frustrating, and an adjustment, and it’s fair to both feel and mark that. It’s also good to temper that, IMO, with a desire to make peace with what is and what could be. I feel for you and hope you find healing. ♥

  9. January 25, 2013 at 2:44 pm

    It is always good to reflect and be grateful. I’m glad you are doing well, Deb, and feeling better! XOXO

  10. January 26, 2013 at 9:31 am

    This was brilliant. Thank you for letting us in.

  11. January 26, 2013 at 12:16 pm

    Nothing like some perspective to make what is an accomplishment for you anyway, to help us realize just how lucky we are on such a bigger level. Glad you are feeling well and having success with your new adventure! Xoxo

    • January 28, 2013 at 5:39 am

      Thank you, Shannon! So awesome to see you here, and to reflect on your words and your own recent experiences. I was talking to my sister yesterday and emphasizing how perspective doesn’t mean minimizing the impact of hardships in our lives, because hardships are hardships and take a toll. It means seeing the things outside those hardships, which can be so sweet and (many times) greater in scope.

  12. January 26, 2013 at 5:09 pm

    Glad you could make that run – to work out both body and mind. Here’s hoping you food AND running windows expand, but if they don’t, well, here’s to many more 20-minute runs! ๐Ÿ˜€

    • January 28, 2013 at 5:47 am

      I ran 23 minutes yesterday morning–almost 24! I think there’s hope for my running windows expanding, even though the food ones look like they might be pretty small for a while. ๐Ÿ™‚

  13. January 28, 2013 at 5:17 am

    Good for you, Deb!

  1. February 10, 2013 at 8:06 am

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