On this day in 1970, my mother was born in Northern California.
On this day in 2012, my doctor told I am allowed to run again.
On this day, this very day, today, I laced up brand-new cleats and coughed my way through a women's league soccer game. We won 8 to nothing. I did not score a goal.
"Just, you know, don't start out with 30-mile weeks," she told me. My physical therapist is effervescent and named Tiffany. My doctor is curt and named Darla.
The reason I'm coughing is (in part) because of a business trip last week to Salt Lake City. Utah looms large in my mind as the birthplace of true running (along with, undeniably, Colorado) and I spent three days squinting and walking around downtown, off into the wandery north, down south to Sugarhouse, under artificial spritzers at the Gateway Mall where I bought books and dodged teenagers. It was dry and hot, and I spent days shivering in meetings at the hotel and then headed out into the hottest part of the day, my cheap Target sunglasses reducing the 3pm Utah sun to a level approximately only 150% what it is in northern Alabama.
I walked to Harmon's and bought avocados and pink Himalayan sea salt. I know it is gross that I tested to see that the salt rock was really salty, but reader, I did it. At night I did my physical therapy in my hotel room and watched Mean Girls and the DNC.
My legs didn't hurt. They don't hurt. I am eight pounds above my racing weight, and my ability to do pull-ups faded with my confidence in my own body. The other therapist, Amy, is blonde and pregnant and impossibly beautiful. She has a Julia Roberts mouth, which she uses to tell me that I have many years ahead. I'm lying on my back on the therapy table in my work shirt and referee shorts, an outfit of necessity. I put my arms behind my head, trying to prop myself up and look at her more directly. "You really think so?" "Oh, yeah." "Okay."
Happy birthday, Mom.