Sunday, July 13, 2008


Due to my deteriorating right knee, I'm looking for a form of exercise other than running. It's a hard act to follow. Although I've been an off and on runner since high school, running has been my saving grace since having children. In the last five years, I've gotten in shape, regularly decompressed, and connected with the outdoors as a result of running. I've run road races and seen neighborhoods and countrysides at a slower, more appreciative pace. Running has challenged me, mentally and physically. I've run in Iowa when it was in the single digits, and I practically crawled up a hill in Walland, Tennessee during a July road race in the 95 degree heat. But most importantly, I've established great friendships with fellow female runners. We've laughed and commiserated and celebrated, all while jogging around Knoxville, sometimes on pitch black winter mornings. Many of my runner friends are voracious readers like I am, so we discuss what we're reading during our runs and later swap books. We never jog too fast that we can't have a conversation, and on weekends, we sometimes follow our run with a covert, strictly social trip to SKCUBRATS (my husband can't read backwards). Running has been a great social and physical outlet.

But my right knee is not having it these days. I've given it a break and I've switched my shoes, but nothing has worked. I'm not giving up entirely, but branching out seems to be in order. So this weekend, I tried to swim laps at the CourtSouth pool. With my goggles slowly filling with water, I flailed up and down the lap lane, hoping I wasn't attracting too much concern from the tan, annoyingly lean lifeguard. As I hung on the wall panting after each lap, I realized how solitary swimming is. (And really, how exhausting and boring.)

I just don't think swimming's going to do it for me.

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