Monday, June 27, 2011

Addiction

An ad popped out from the page: “Addiction Kills.” It scared me, because I developed a habit 11 years ago, and at this point, I’d call it an addiction.

It began slowly and innocuously with a friend in 2000—no strings attached. Just two people, home alone most of the time, and no one else to do it with. He was twice divorced. Me, well, I was flying solo. We both seemed to need it and gently took our first step and then the next. After it was over, indeed, we both felt better, though, if we were to be completely honest, there were times when one or both of us might hurt a little.

“Too much of a good thing can be wonderful,” Mae West said, and my friend and I kept doing it year-round. Even in the depths of winter when it was an effort to get together, we’d be panting and hot when we were through. Though we were reluctant to partake when passing winds were so ferocious they’d almost bowl us over, we ignored the conditions as best we could and stayed on schedule. We were tenacious and aiming for the high.

I’ll admit, there were times when it would drag me down—usually when I hadn’t slept well, which made me emotionally and physically exhausted, but eventually it got to a point when I would feel high just thinking about it.

Then my friend had a stroke—not because of our activity, but a complication three days after his appendectomy. Since then, we’ve done it together only once because it wore him out.

So I started doing it alone. Performing solo is a completely different movement, but I’ve come to like it better. It’s much faster and less time consuming than waiting for my buddy to come.

Three months after his stroke, I had my own surgery, for cancer. Only three weeks afterward, I felt more energy coursing through my mind, body, and spirit. I gained momentum and increased my speed. Now I run three miles a day rather than just hike.

Does addiction kill? I hope not, but if it does, what a great way to go.

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