I should have known when Robb said, “I looked at a map, and the trail said it was 8 miles but I’m not sure if that’s round-trip or one-way.”
I should have known when I got out of the car and I said, “You know, I don’t really need to run for two hours this morning.” And he said, “How about one hour and forty-five minutes?”
I should have known when we jumped on the trail and two minutes and thirty seconds into The Run my calves were blowing up because the path seemed to be more of a glorified bouldering session than the gentle, winding path of my hopes and dreams.
I should have known.
I remember repeatedly cursing his long legs with their joyful, bounding gait and his bull-dog-like perseverance and his love of the views that I could not see through sweat-blinded eyes.
I remember having the thought; This kind of feels like that one time we let Grayson repeat the same phrase over and over and over again in the car just to see how long he would go if we didn’t holler at him to stop and it turns out that he might just keep saying the phrase forever. I wondered how long Robb would actually run if I just let him keep running. Would he just keep running forever? Would we ever see our home again?
I remember thinking I would never ever ever run with him ever again in my whole life. But I also knew this thought to be a lie because it was one that I have had many times before.
I remember thinking that if I fell off the sheer cliff wall that we were running on, that at least I wouldn’t have to be running uphill anymore.
I remember him cheerfully saying, “You know, a couple of years ago, you would have killed me for taking you on this trail!”, and thinking that the day was still young.
And then at about mile 999 of running straight up the rocky tortuous path that had been marketed to me as, “Beautiful!” “Fun!” “Amazing views!”, I remember breathing out some words formed together, saying something like, “Should we talk about what is happening here? Expectations? An exit plan?”
And he said, “Well, we can’t turn around now! We aren’t Somewhere yet! We can’t turn around until we have made it Somewhere! This definitely is not Somewhere. Maybe Up There will be Somewhere.” He pointed up.
I remember saying that if we didn’t make it Somewhere in another mile, well, he could just go ahead and go Somewhere all by himself. A few different options came to mind.
And then he, still cheerfully, always cheerfully, filled with the endorphins that only those who truly love to be in pain while they exercise, said, “Great compromise Honey!” But I was not his Honey. I was not.
And off he went, the adrenaline of masochistic calf-pain propelling him away from me, onward, up the hill.
I remember the resignation, then. My head lowered. I had that feeling that, I just needed to endure. There was no real hope for enjoyment that day. It was simply a thing that must get done.
We made it to Somewhere that day.
On a side note, we are still married.