My manager recently mentioned to me that she was walking 2.5 miles per day in her compact NYC apartment. That really impressed me. Granted, she doesn’t have two small people to block her path and ask for snacks but, still- it planted a seed.
I’ve been grateful to have the double stroller that I acquired at the beginning of quarantine because it allows me to get out even if no one is in the mood. Strap them in and give them trail mix with M&Ms in it. I’ve done up to four miles with it and it’s a smooth ride. But yesterday, when I felt like my body really needed it, it was snowing. Again. And I was just not up for the double stroller AND the snow AND the cold. And, gosh, the virus. Because let’s be honest, every outing includes some level of stress about sanitizer, surfaces, and who’s touching what.
So, I thought- I’m going to try running in the apartment. I can do a loop, thanks to two doors in my bedroom; a loop I’ve mainly used to pace while on important phone calls. I’d never tried running it, because why would I????? I used to have 9 hours a day of child care (sob). I was also hoping my kids would chase me because they needed exercise too.
So I put on my sports bra under my jammies (not really jammies but these days I only wear clothes I can exercise or sleep in) and some running shoes that I hadn’t used outside in a long time. I started a workout in MapMyRun, wondering if GPS would even be able to tell if I had left my couch. I even put in my earbuds to listen to a talk by Tara Brach.
The kids ran with me for a while. C was giggling and running in her Crocs, E was in socks and soon twisted his ankle, and after about 7 minutes they were both crying and whining so I put them on the tablet. On one of my loops, I stopped to take a lasagna out of the oven (I can’t say I’ve ever done this in the middle of a run). I noticed that my postpartum incontinence is a thing even on a slow interior run, but that only made it seem more legit.
My only injury was clipping the doorway with my shoulder a couple of times but when you’re running like 1 mile/hour, there is no pain. (PS I am not exaggerating my pace to be funny- I actually did half a mile in 30 minutes.)
Toward the end, I noticed that my perspective was changing- my place felt bigger, fresher, and I had the sensation of coming home after a long walk. Like I was seeing my place with new eyes, in the context of the larger world. I felt taller.
Survival strategies are important right now. Desperate times call for desperate measures! I would do it again, but hopefully spring arrives before that’s necessary.
We got the news yesterday that schools are closed through the end of the school year. I absorbed the news and kept going. It was expected. It’s hard for me to conceptualize the future right now, when we’re so very busy in the present. But I did find myself pausing on how to tell Evan that he wouldn’t be going back to kindergarten.
I ended up telling him today, when we were out romping in the blessedly uninhabited woods on an unmarked trail along a river in the warm sun. He paused and said happily, “but I’ll still see my class every day on Zoom!!!” Sigh of relief. He’s lucky to have a wonderful teacher and, dare I say, home life (read: lots of screen time). He’s also much more focused on his 6th birthday, which is only one month away.
Lately, these two are going by “Henry” and “Zoe,” which I guess are characters from a show they watch. Henry and Zoe drive me nuts and also make each day delightful in some way.
I’m off to clean my disaster of a house and, you know, do weird, earthy quarantine-inspired things like set up to brew kombucha, feed my sourdough starter, and make a vegetable broth out of veggie scraps. Maybe get some seeds planted in cups.
Thanks for reappearing out of the woodwork to read and comment on my blog, friends. It’s been a long time since I’ve written and I’m happy you’re still out there reading. I’m sending awkwardly-long hugs to each of you. Lots of love xoxoxo