Thursday, March 17, 2011

Talking about the "S" word

I had coffee this morning with John Stifler, a longtime friend and longtime runner who writes the "On the Run" column for the Daily Hampshire Gazette.

Our conversation turned to the plantar fasciitis that is keeping me, and has kept many runners, from going out and doing what we love to do. The conversation was especially relevant since Holyoke's big Saint Patrick's Road Race is this Sunday. That's the 10-k that I was running in 2003 when my fatigue was the first sign that I had leukemia.

John asked if I had considered the "S" word.

I thought maybe he had come up with some new curse, and I asked him what he meant.

"Swimming," he said.

Ah, yes. I have done some laps and gone water jogging, but it's not quite the same thing.

I told him that I remembered my friend Chip telling me, years ago when I first had this crazy-making heel pain, "Sooner or later all of us end up in the pool."

John had a different way of looking at it.

"If you're naturally a runner and you're injured and you swim for exercise, God eventually takes pity on you and makes it so that you can run again," he said.

I liked that.

I asked him if it applied to tennis, but he said he only knew about running.

I hope the tennis gods will take pity on me too.


susiegb said...

Have to say I was scratching my head wondering what the 'S' word actually was! My imaginations did not include swimming!!

Swimming is good and fun as well! So I wouldn't turn my nose up at it ... :)

pam said...


you are a born-swimmer of Atlantic -- the Beach was where you swam, played tennis, and ran...

the pool will be your next triatholon-step in your triumphant conquest to do all...


PJ said...

I was thinking "surgery." Swimming is better,

Julie Goodale said...

Swimming....I was going to suggest that, too. Or biking? I know it's not the same, but it's something.
What a drag, though! Sorry.