Christmas run on 1 May

Traditionally, the first day of May is Worker’s day in South Africa and in many other countries worldwide, but for many of us locals, it meant Freedom day. Albeit that Freedom Day was on Monday… But the names of days and months have shifted dramatically in the 38 days of our Level Five Lockdown.

Today we moved into Level 4. This means that more retail shops are open as well as take-away food stores but the more relevant aspect is, running is allowed in a 3 hour window period!

I hadn’t planned on ‘going out’ to run. A part of me was a little nervous, to be honest. Agoraphobia can kick in quickly if a person spends too much time at home. But I am an impulsive person and if the feeling is right, I do things. 

I jumped in my running shoes, and was glad that they still fit, lol. Put my dusty Garmin watch onto ‘running outdoor’ mode and I could almost hear it gasp. I opened the gate and started waving Mel Gibson arms in the Freedom fist punch, and I saw a fellow club member running with his son. 

I chatted across the road, glad that this verbal function still does work without a smart phone screen in front of my face. I started out to the bridge that is under construction and was impressed to see that some big work had been done. I greeted some dogs, who looked dazed and confused but very excited to have some different visuals past their gates to their own constant prison. The hadeda’s were going mental, I swear I heard them ask what was happening with all these feet in the street. 

The pavements look long grassed and undisturbed, the trees look sad with their Autumn colours fading, the sky was a cobalt blue, like I have never, ever seen and not likely to see again. I deliberately crossed the pedestrian bridge over the highway, to marvel at the clean air and lack of traffic. I stood in awe at how nature seems to have had a big relief from the rush, smells, fumes and angry energy that we humans spew into it. People ran, cycled, walked alone or with their doggies who were wagging their tails so much they looked stationary. Masked people, unmasked, friendly, people and some militant types eager on keeping the strict rules in place. I did big body swerves when I overtook, (yes I know 😉 ) I have been Comrades social distancing since 2008, I know how to steer clear of germy beasts. It felt so liberating to be outside and being able to do this thing, called run.

I ran up the Marathon Cul de Sac street, just because it’s there. I probably woke the dogs up and 5 Jack Russels were super thrilled that I went by- their owners maybe not so much. I decided to run past one of my house sitting jobs to catch a glimpse of my foster pups. And there she was, young Olivia standing guard at the gate, I started calling her name, and she was a bit hesitant at first, but when she smelled me (yes, I could expand this, but won’t) she recognised me and started excitedly grinning and barking and calling the others. Benji had forgotten me, but she’s young, and eventually Chucky was let out the front door, because he’s not running around, while there’s commotion at the gate. Owner, Karen came out and we tried to chat across the gate, or at least shout over the barking of the three beasts, who realised that I wasn’t there to walk them. Leaving them was a little hard, but I caught myself smiling at the houses I recognised, as I ran by.

I was very thankful that my calf felt absolutely fine with it’s new scar, and pleased that my legs managed to keep supporting me, instead of shouting out all the chocolates and puddings that have been piling up in my thighs. I had dressed too warmly with my double long sleeved top, and the morning seemed to be showing off in it’s glory, as people were acknowledging just how much we missed the world. Now I need to readjust my early mornings to be able to fit in my short runs, but if I get a repeat of today’s experience, then I will become the most disciplined runner… haha!

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