I was really nervous before I left home to go running. How was it going to go today? Would it hurt? I've had so many setbacks lately that I'm expecting one every time I step out the door in my running shoes.
I walked up to the lake in my insoles, then started jogging carefully on the flat parts, keeping my steps short and light. Or as light as is possible in the brick shoes. I'm not going to lie: running in these shoes plus insoles is about as light as a rhinoceros on a spider web. It's about as enjoyable as cleaning the cats' litter box. With your bare hands.
After switching between running and walking a few times as per my physiotherapist's instructions, I got fed up and took off my shoes. The ground was cold but my feet were finally free. I started running, holding my shoes in my hands. I felt every pebble, every pine needle, every twig under the soles of my feet. Felt how mud closed in around them. Felt the softness of wet ground, the hardness of gravel. It never hurt. My feet got a much-needed massage. My knee loved it.
I ran a total of 13 minutes, 4 of which barefoot, then walked to the lake. I wanted to jump in, but the relatively cool temperature in the air and the coldness of the water once I stepped into the lake changed my mind. The lake was calm, the trees and clouds casting a reflection on the water. I washed the mud off my feet and lay down on the rock to let them dry. I enjoyed the silence. No cars. No voices. Just birds. A distant aeroplane. I closed my eyes. What a blissful moment.