When you tear the meniscus on your right knee and can’t run or exercise for almost a year, and you sink into a deep pit of despair that, a year later, you begin to think sprung at least in part from the lack of physical stimulation and activity, but you also notice another by-product of the reduced activity: you’ve gained at least 20 pounds. And you begin to regret all those times you made conscious or subconscious fun of people who talked about counting calories and pinching an inch (you can now pinch 2.5 inches) and their bodies changing as they grow old, as you now feel, running again, like you’re running with an entirely different and deficient body. You no longer think about pushing the pace for ten miles, but merely of getting through three without too much pain in your knee. And then when you are running across 21st Avenue in Queens in the rain, and you slip and fall on your right arm, tearing the muscles in your rotator cuff so that you can’t lift your arm above your head without pain, and you begin rationalizing and compartmentalizing, telling yourself that it’s only the right side of your body that’s grown old and unusable, that you are left-handed and perhaps you can simply live on that side—you always loved your left hand more, with the little mole on the innermost knuckle that was always your way of discerning it from your right hand, only now the mole is gone, but at least your left hand is free of the liver spots that have gathered on the backside of your right hand. You will be 44 years old next month, and your life is most likely more than half-lived. Start living through your children as they run through sprinklers and go to swim camp and dart through the waves on the beach like the little crabs and sand fleas they chase. Stop running. Rest, recover, and then run again, in fits and starts toward the finish that awaits us all. 

What are the Sneaky Feels?

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AuthorJohn Proctor