chWaking up the next day was not pleasant. Well….let me rephrase that; waking up was fine. It was getting out of bed and placing my feet upon the floor that was a travesty. I took one step and instantly knew that my thighs had SEVERLY paid for yesterday’s cardio venture. It felt like every tendon in my legs had been stretched over 500 ft and were about to snap in half at any second. I could not believe how much it HURT! How far had I run anyways? I didn’t know, but I was pretty sure that it wasn’t supposed to hurt THIS bad.
“C’mon, Justin, just one foot in front of the other. Up and at em,” I thought to myself as I embarked on the daring 4 ft journey from my bed to the bedroom door. As I clumsily and painfully made my way to my destination, I began to have doubts about this marathon goal I had set for myself, which was a little disheartening considering this is how I felt after ONE day of training. I finally stumbled through the doorway and gulped because I knew what was next… the stairs.
I was going to have to summon ALL the motivation Gods for this one!
I saw my dad looking up at me from the bottom of the stairs with a bit of a smirk. “Overdid it a little bit hunh?”
He was definitely right. Unfortunately, he wanted to go the flea market that day and get me out of the house. At this time, he still didn’t completely grasp the nature of withdrawal and how terrifying it was for me to do the seemingly simple task of walking around in public. It’s pretty crazy when you think about the fact that the idea of training for a marathon and dedicating myself to that goal was no issue, but the thought of standing in line at a flea market made me sick to stomach….and now I had to do it with two legs that were on fire.
Riding in the passenger seat of my dad’s truck was always an unpleasant experience. God bless him, he would do his best to make small talk with me and try to get a conversation going, but it’s a little a difficult to exchange pleasantries with someone when you’re in chemical despair and focusing only on surviving the concrete wall of panic in your chest. Understandably, I think he took my silence as being standoffish and maybe even a little disrespectful.
“How about an ATTEMPT to talk to me, Justin?!” He blurted out in frustration. My brain was scrambled eggs though, there would be no father and son bonding on this afternoon…so I just continued to suffer in silence.
After surviving the flea market endeavor and brutally awkward ride home with my dad, my cousin Andrew decided to stop by for a visit. I already felt like a mutilated puppy emotionally, so, needless to say, I wasn’t too stoked on seeing anybody. He had always been my favorite cousin though and one of the kindest people I knew, so if anyone was going to be understanding, it was him. I did my best to socialize as I stared at him with my big, stupid bulging eyes. I was at least proud of my marathon goal and was excited to tell him about it. I told him I wasn’t sure how long the road was that I was training on, so we hopped in his trailblazer and tracked the distance. To my surprise, the distance of the road was 0.3 miles, which meant running to the end and back was 0.6 miles. Since I knew I had run 15 laps the day before, that meant that I ran a total of 9 miles! Which was a huge relief, because I knew that was a good chunk of mileage for a first time run. I was super worried that maybe it had only been 4 or 5 miles, which would have made the thought of running a whole marathon seem very unobtainable. However, the pain I was experiencing made sense now because I knew 9 miles is pretty nuts for a complete beginner. I felt my spirits lift and my determination began to show its lovely face again.
I said goodbye to my cousin and made my way up back up the stairs to my room, my safe haven. It had been another gut-wrenching day. I was still so devastated that I was unable to effectively communicate with my own father or favorite cousin. I thought about the way I used to be and how much I enjoyed laughing with Andrew on the phone. We both had the same sense of humor, but there wasn’t much laughing today, and that hurt me deeply.
At least I had my marathon though, and I had to keep believing that something good would come from that.