Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Why I'm happy in the woods (Pt. 2)

Ok, let you in on a little secret. Besides the lumps, got an actual medical problem being way less obvious but nevertheless actually impressing me a lot more (another reason why myself taking them way less seriously than most people around me).

Talking about my lungs. To cut a long story short, it's some (not malign) 'unspecific cell alteration' (not even growth, i.e. cancer), but despite various tests (and conveniently abusing me as a human guinea pig in the process) never even could tell me an exact verified diagnosis. (On the other hand, hey, at least still got me out of mandatory military service no pain and in no time.)

It's effect is a decrease in lung capability. As I see it, smoking spliffs for quite a while, this one 6-month job using this 'harmless' solvent, getting 'teargassed' twice real bad by the glorious Zurich cops (though being fortunate enough at least not going down unconscious in the smoke, but only coughing blood and suffering from pneumonia etc. afterwards), sometimes living too close to a busy street, generally living in cities, plus last but not least my time in airport prison with its Dr Wanna-be-Mengele & Co -- all of these probably didn't exactly help. Five years of cortisone tereafter obviously did some (though as said also gave me the complications on my head).

As a Doctor once put it, in worst case I'm 4 years from death -- actually for over 20 years by now.

Well, I know, it's still absolutely ridiculous how 'far' I go jogging on the track and also how 'fast'. (Actually if I walk really fast I'd always beat myself same as virtually everybody else on the track does running. Heck, the real serious runners catch me up twice even before I'm 'round once.)

Still am happy I being able to run some again at all. I remember, as a kid I used to dream about things I wanted but couldn't afford. Later I started dreaming about women. Now it's just running uphill fast for hours. (Am I not a modest man?)

Took me over a year of cycling myself up till I was able to start a little jogging again. Actually didn't think I'd be able doing so at all, only did so perchance after last fall the training grounds outside the school I was using were torn down just like at all the other schools before. Which was when I discovered the parallel and high bars beside the sawdust track up in the woods. And after a while got me thinking, why not try the track as well? Started with less than 100 yards, but since then going for it regularly winter and summer.

Ok, with some travel related breaks, and this year also including another bloody pneumonia, and the two fat and even fatter post surgery 'no sports' slots as well. So wasn't too confident when finally going back again 3 days ago, but in the end was almost piece of cake, especially the running. And also the other muscles didn't hurt too much the next day, very unlike after finishing the last post surgery break a month ago. Obviously the few modest workouts earlier and then all this cycling and dancing and walking up the stairs to the 5th floor in Berlin eventually payed off.

Right, still didn't want to get my mind up too high, cause usually the real test is coming back 2 days later, going at it again. Which was today. Well, definitely less piece of cake, but still ok.

Hey, just by the way, did I ever tell you how much I love this really nice Altstetten Finland style sawdust track up in the woods here?! (Nah, course I'm quite aware raving about it every now and then.)

In the meantime, actually it's probably about the most religious experience I got. Like the place I got back a nice slab of the Grace and Love of God when else I was feeling real bad.

First time I did more than 1 1/2 miles in one piece, was crying tears of joy (same as other times when doing pretty well).

Still remember this winter night, probably a Saturday, cause I was there quite late when nobody else was on the track and all the lights out long time, but still everything bright from snow and moonlight. After having done my rounds, being exhausted and desperate, but still so happy being able to pull, looking up through the branches to the moon and the few stars, thinking:

Wherever I'll go
And even in my
Darkest hours
Thanks for shining
Your love on me.

And every doctor I have to tell about the 'working' diagnosis they eventually labelled me and then letting them in on how I do on the track starts looking at me like I'd taken the bloody cap off.

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