A Friend Most Unwelcome.


Those who have followed my articles for Fleet Feet Syracuse will note that this is not the promised story of the Mystery of Pleasure from Pain.  I’ll get back to it eventually.  Maybe.

For this installment, I have something else about which to write!  It’s the tale of a friend most unwelcome.

I haven’t been running much.  I could lie and say that there are a lot of reasons for it.  Hey, life’s busy.  Kids, work and the joy of Middle-America. You know what I’m talking about, right?  Yes, I could say any of these, but they would just be excuses.  While they are all true, they are not why I haven’t run.

You see, an old friend has come to visit over the last few weeks and his presence has affected my running.  He is not a friend.  Not really.  Yes, I’ve gotten to know him over the years but he’s no friend of mine.  And he certainly isn’t welcome.  He has just latched on to me and I cannot escape the asphyxiation of his presence.  So impenetrable to the fact that I don’t want him around but just don’t know how to politely send him on his way.

He’s a runner.  Yes.  We have trained together, too.  A marathon.  2012.  He was my companion then during even the longest miles.  The 18’s, the 20’s, and the 18’s again.  And yes, we ran the race together.  Doggedly loyal for every stride and every step.  Despite my best effort to leave him behind … to just get away.

Why act this way toward one so loyal?  You could ask.  And I would understand if you thought less of me for my execration.  But, my friend is unwelcome and he’s not a friend at all.  He’s not even a person.  He is Plantar Fasciitis.  And I hate him.  A lot.

Does it hurt?  You said that you ran with him before.  Is it really so bad?

Well, ok.  For those fortunate ones who haven’t had the pleasure of his company, I’ll do my best to describe.

Imagine an antagonist most persistent.  Vicious.  Fixing to afflict you and make you suffer.  Imagine further a shard of iron … or steel.  Blazing hot, but not sharp.  Blunt as hell.  Imagine too, your foot.  Your heel.  Naked to a dull but searing intensity that increases with every step of every run whether short or long.  Imagine that pain and double it again.  That’s pleasure of his company.  A companionship doomed, at least it can seem, to be eternal.  Yes, he will leave for a while to torment another, but like that friend so unwelcome, he always seems to return again.

Hopefully, he will go in the next week or two and I’ll be done with him forever.  But yet, that is what I hoped in 2012 and he has come back to visit once again.  But yet again, I have run a marathon with him before so I suppose that I could do so again?

Until next time when … (we discuss the life and legacy of a champion).