Perpetually five minutes late at least, I turn into an empty parking space and turn off the car, stashing my key in a pocket. She never makes me feel guilty, even though she's been waiting in the cold. We fall into step the way we always do, still able to see our breath on what will eventually be a warm spring day. It's not quite light enough yet for the trail to be crowded, and chatter flows freely as we start to warm up, tucking our bare fingers into our long sleeves. (You just shouldn't have to wear gloves in late April.)
I'm not sure how many miles we have covered together, our feet keeping time and our hearts beating strong. I'm not sure how many topics we've discussed, how many problems we've solved, how many laughs we have shared. What I do know is that I used to run alone, and now I don't anymore...and I am almost as grateful for the pair of legs running beside me as I am for my own underneath me. Running is constant evolution, a constant accepting and reaccepting of my strengths and my weaknesses. Having and keeping company on such a journey is a great privilege.
The sun has climbed up to a respectable height as we close in on the end of the last mile, dodging a pair of ducks ambling companionably across the path...and although I expect we may never run out of things to talk about, we are quiet, warmed by robust effort and the bond of having struggled and triumphed together.
For more Five-Minute Friday, please visit Lisa-Jo Baker's blog, Tales from a Gypsy Mama.