I realized this morning that I am gaining weight. I don’t have a scale but I can tell. I’m not burning as much calories from the isolation, and the online yoga isn’t enough. Oh, and being in stretchy elastic pants for three weeks doesn’t help, either. The weather today was perfect for running outside. It was sunny and about 55 degrees which is almost a heatwave in Chicago, especially lately. I decide to run toward Millennium Park again to run through the little strip of Maggie Daley Park but as I predicted the other day, they closed that, too. I noticed that most people had masks on and thought I should buy some, but before today I thought the health care workers needed it more so I didn’t want to dampen the supply. Maybe I should start looking now? I got on Lake Shore Drive and was determined to go farther than the three miles from the other day. I started to break a sweat and felt fantastic, and I thought about how much I missed the hot yoga classes. When I came to Buckingham Fountain that hasn’t opened yet my mind went to the Trevi Fountain in Rome. I remember tossing a coin hoping that I would return one day, and the memory made me smile inside. Then just beside the fountain was a patch of green that was manicured well, and so my mind went to the Gardens at the Palace of Versailles. I remember it being so perfectly manicured and so green that it did not seem real. I thought it was interesting how my mind kept thinking about the places I have been, and then I wondered where I could travel to next when all this crazy hell is over. I had so many ideas!
When I ran away from Lake Shore and toward Michigan Avenue I passed by the Art Institute and wished I could go inside, especially after seeing a banner for El Greco. I tried to remember where I last saw an El Greco painting and realized it was at the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam. I loved that museum! This time I smiled bigger, and with the sunshine on my face I felt invincible. I was about four miles into running when I stopped to take pictures. At that point it actually hurt more to stand still than run so I kept running. I took another picture of The Bean, and this time the sun beaming on it made it seem like it was smiling at me. I kept going north on Michigan Avenue, and I wondered how much of the lake I would get to see, knowing full well that it was closed. As I was running on what they call the “Magnificent Mile” in Chicago where they have all the luxury shops, it was sad to see every single one of them closed for business. Retail is my career, and I wondered when I could go back to work. I bet at the very best it would be in May, I thought.
I was getting a little tired but I had to keep running. I can’t get fat, damn it! Never will. Besides, the sun was still shining. When I got near the lake on North Avenue Beach, of course it was closed but I was just hoping to see more of the water to take a picture since it was a gorgeous shade of blue today. At least I have the view from my apartment, I thought. I went around and went toward Lake Shore again going toward home. There I got more of the lake’s view but it was still too far to get a good picture. I wondered when they would open all the parks and lake back again. Finally, I passed by Northwestern Hospital and wondered what the doctors and nurses were going through inside. I made a mental note to reach out to the health care workers that I know through my work.
I wanted to keep running because the warmth of the sun, along with the freedom of movement and speed, made me feel like all the problems of the world went away. But I was hungry. When I looked on the health app of my iPhone it showed I ran (and walked some) 7.2 miles. Not bad for a fat girl. I was grateful for the sun, my ability to run, the memories of travel, and Life itself.