I think the last time I was this sick, I was old enough to be placed under my mother's care and given the day off from school. Those were the days of recess and fruit-roll ups and crayon boxes with their smell of sticky wax. Though it was no fun to be sick, I loved those days when it was just my mom and I-- and I could do the things I was never allowed to do on normal days: wear my pajamas past seven am, watch movies in broad daylight, eat whatever food I wanted (and could keep down.) And to have my mom make it, especially for me.
Illness is a lot less fun when you're an adult... and when you're an athlete. Lately, I've been impressed with my return to the sport despite my sad spring season of injury. I was feeling strong-- and independent-- sort of like the archetypal runner you see on those motivational posters all alone, scaling some rocky cliff against a lit background of twilight sky.
This illness was something of a reality check. No running for me: I was on all fours, if mobile at all. And food-- or fluids-- forget it. It was all my humanity, in other words, bare for me to see. It's funny: so often we (or, I) get caught up in writing or running or work and I forget how precious and special existence is. All it took to lay me low was a virus, a creature so small I'll never own and instrument that would allow me to see it.
And so, now that I'm able to walk, drink water, and enjoy a saltine cracker, I want to try and remember that every moment is a gift. It doesn't matter how far or fast; the gift is the ability to try. And for now, the gift is smaller still but no less precious: I'm me again. Happily, healthfully, me.