Long time readers of this site (from when it was charmingly known as "Diarrhea Island") may recall that a few years ago I started running and dropped a crap-ton of weight. This was nothing but good in many different ways. I regained my health and became an enthusiastic-if-not-very-speedy regular runner -- something I never could have imagined previously. After about a year, to my utter horror and despair, I injured my right foot -- a toe bone -- and had trouble even walking for a few weeks. Worse, I was told by the ER doctor that I was going to either have to live with the injury or have surgery to correct it. The surgery would have a painful, lengthy recovery -- 6-8 weeks in a boot cast -- with no guarantee of pain-free success. I was devastated that after all the effort that this happened, but in retrospect I should not have been so surprised. Starting up a rigorous exercise plan in your mid-40s is very good and doable, but I was foolish to think that at my age I wasn't more prone to injuries.

So what did I do? I stopped running. I stopped everything, waiting to find a time when I would have 6-8 weeks where I would never have to drive anywhere. HA. It never came. I didn't want to do any other kind of exercise. Running was "it" for me. I was afraid to do anything. My toe got better, but often ached. I lived with it, but not exactly how I wanted to live.

Almost two years have passed. I gained back 10 pounds, not bad considering, but not at all in the direction I need to go. I am sad that my muscle tone has gone from fairly fit to frankly flabby again. I miss the challenge of pushing just that extra little bit to go farther and faster from the last run. So today I decided, OK, enough. And I got back on the treadmill, thinking as I did when I first started, whatever you can do today is better than doing nothing at all. Let's see what happens.

And now I sit, sweaty and smelly and smiling. I did the full hour, no foot pain, no shin pain, and only 1.5 miles less than my best distance ever. I can't even believe it. I was so happy to be back on there with Wilco and the Rolling Stones and the Dandy Warhols and The Hives and Wilson Pickett in my ears, feet pounding to the beats. So happy.

I don't know what's going to happen from here. Maybe my foot will rebel again. Maybe something else will blow out. But, was good.

Wilco, "Heavy Metal Drummer"