Making Many Steps – A Transition

Making Many Steps – A Transition
Paul Soskind

May 2009 marks seven full years since I gave up competitive running and became a walker. I’m sure all of us have gone through periods of setback due to illness, family or career issues and, perhaps, running-related injury. Some of us are fortunate enough to resume our training; others, in denial of what may eventually become an injury that is permanently debilitating, refuse to alter their lives until it is too late to “come back.”

I always enjoyed running with its challenges, goals, pr’s, new distances, competition and camaraderie. My perspective now is different. I see the efforts of the runners at the back of the pack; I wait many moments to get to the start and then weave through myriads of competitors.

When I began seven years ago, walking really fast was hard and painful. It is still hard and the faster I go, the more it hurts. The days following a race, however, are very different. There are no more sore ankles and knees, no lower back tightness, no pulls or muscle strains, only the soreness from an effort well spent.

When I ran 50-80 miles a week, I could never get my weight below 150 lbs. or less than a 30 inch waist. Now, walking 28 to 4 miles a week, I am about 135 lbs., can fit into clothes I wore in high school and feel stronger and fitter. I am still improving and have no lingering aches and pains.

While I miss running, I have found a better alternative. Watching runners, I hope they will all be able to continue forever, but heed their own inner wisdom to taper down, change and adapt to makes this possible.