Up until recently I wasn’t the type of guy who set goals for himself, then I started running. It isn’t that I’ve never run, it’s just that I have never run purposely from here to there just to get in shape. I realized it was time to do something when the bathroom scale displayed numbers I had never imagined as a younger man would one day be reality for me as an older man.
Running doesn’t require any special equipment other than a good pair of shoes and a place to run, so I bought the shoes and started running on the road in front of our farm, as it was usually quiet. The initial distance I covered was embarrassingly short. In fact, I’ve seen people run farther to the bathroom during commercial breaks. But I kept at it and gradually increased the distance by using landmarks along the road. I figured that if I was able to make it so far one day, the next day I should be able to go just a little further. By setting small, obtainable goals, I gradually increased my distance. At first it was the neighbor’s mailbox, the next day it was a tall weed, then a sign and so on down the road.
I have found the early morning to be the best time for me to run, as I am too sleepy to talk myself out of it. However, lately the sun has been taking its time to rise, and I have found myself running in the dark. It occurred to me that running in the dark on a lonely country road is a good way to get hit by a car and/or eaten by wolves. As neither outcome sounded appealing, I put on a flashlight-headband, so now I can see the wolves before they attack and the drivers will see me before they run me over.
Every time I put on the illuminated headpiece I think of my mother. Mom was no great runner, but I imagine she once had the capability – I just never saw it. Rather, Mom was a big believer in proper lighting for any occasion, especially for reading. In fact, if she ever saw one of her children reading without a light she would say, “if you need a light, turn it on.”
Maybe Mom was a strong advocate for shedding light on a subject because she required it herself. I also remind my kids to turn a light on from time to time. As I have gotten older I have become even more dependent upon proper lighting not only to read, but also to navigate the hallways and stairs of my home.
I plan on living a long time, so I should probably invest in some of those bulbs that have a long life, so I can see what’s going on. I just read that some scientists believe that 115 years old may be the maximum span of human life. Of course, there are exceptions, such as Jeanne Calment, a French woman who died in 1997 at the age of 122. I plan on being one of those exceptions – just to prove those pesky scientists wrong. The way I see it, I’m almost half way to 116; it’s another new goal I’ve set for myself.