Monday, August 08, 2005

Home again, running to catch up

When I left my mother on Friday she had gained "room independence," meaning she can right herself out of bed (assuming her brace is on) and get in her wheelchair and tool around. Though I have always been confident she's going to make it, I could tell that this made a real positive difference for her. She still has a long way to go. I'm sorry I couldn't stay longer, but I know she is in good hands. My brother deserves special thanks for his part in helping out.

While I was down there, I developed a bad habit of staying up very late watching cable TV, which I'm not used to. And I got practically no exercise. How nice, then, to find Jacob Stein's latest column in the stack of mail on my desk--just before I went to the gym for the first time in three weeks.

For years when I awakened in the morning I had the feeling that this may be the day I was to receive a unique thought, an epiphany that would tell me what life is all about. I felt the long-awaited event would occur if only I remained in bed and induced the proper state of wakeful repose.

One day I did receive the epiphany. It was that I was one of those destined to use the same feeble flicker of light that guides the generality of the populace.

When this happened I decided to get out of bed and start moving around. I was influenced in my decision by a physician with a staggering array of legal problems involving himself and his family. I asked him how he gathered the strength to get out of bed in the morning. He said he felt terrible every morning, but he knew it was only because his endocrine system worked at a low level while he slept. That, he said, explains early morning depression. He knew it would disappear once he was hopping around the office and seeing patients.

Impressed by the common sense of this theory, I decided to get up and drive over to American University and run around the track. What the physician said was true. No matter how bad it is, things change for the better after a run, no matter how slow the run is. . . .

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