I had a brilliant run the other day; it was hot, blazingly so, and I was laboring. Every pore was pouring. Still, ambience: the iPod's volume was perfect, the music in two-part harmony with the crashing surf, and the songs, while on Shuffle, fell into a progression that seemed intentional. I got soul but I'm not a soldier. It's been such a long time, I think I should be goin'. I've been there, I know the way. My feet were a percussion section accompanying their own soundtrack. I passed kids mining for sandcrabs, tourists absorbing the final rays of vacation sun, and lots of surfers.
That crashing surf: the high pressure that's brought murky Cabo heat to San Diego county has done wonders for the waves - the dead hot electric oven air has made for glassy conditions, and the swell mix has kicked up the size. As I pounded down the shore, past the knotted lineups at Grandview and Beacons, I rode those waves - paddling out on the Bonzer, the 6' 10" rocketing into peeling lefts, my hand outstretched, fingers slicing through the wave face, liquid roof blotting out the overhead sun.
That was in my head, of course. Even if I wasn't running, I'd still be on the beach.
This week I'm visiting my doctor, who is going to examine my right shoulder, which has been hurting for the past...6 weeks? More? Not a debilitating pain, although there are moments - picking up Zoe, reaching to unscrew a burned-out light bulb - where it feels like I'm taking a bullet. The words rotator, cuff, and surgery roll in my head, a constant loop, a whisper reminding me of what's been left behind, all those mornings waking before the sun and spending hour and hour digging through choppy water and scratching to get up and over board-breaking closeouts, a combined tally of thousands of pushups and bench presses, and before all that all those afternoons spent pulling myself up the faces of burning rock faces, cracked fingers with a crust of climbing chalk and blood. All these things that I have done. I don't do them nearly as much as I did, but still.
So I wait. The appointment is on Wednesday. The shoulder. It could be nothing. It could be everything.