My timing is impeccable.
After breakfast, a load of laundry, writing, reading, and emptying the dishwasher, I ask him if he’s ready.
Then I sit on the leather chair in my office.
The dog paws at my thighs as I slip on socks, lace up sneakers.
I put my earphones in, get bags for the dog’s poo, take a sip of water.
The dog runs back and forth, from me to the door. No barking but lots of tail wagging.
“I’m taking him out,” I shout to one of my girls. “We’ll be gone for awhile.”
Leash in hand, I step outside. I press start on my phone.
Terry Gross promotes what is to follow: her 45-minute Fresh Air interview with Tom Brokaw about his cancer and his career.
I look up as the clouds roll in, as the sky darkens. I pretend not to see it coming.
The dog pulls me toward the street. He sniffs and meanders. I keep both of us to the side of the road as he leads the way, in case I can’t hear approaching traffic over Gross and Brokaw.
We’re about ten minutes in when I feel the first raindrops.
“Let’s jog,” I say to the dog. We do until I can’t breathe, which is about two minutes.
Under a canopy of trees, I pant and walk it off. Protected by a tent of leaves, I pretend that the rain is in my imagination.
We’re fifteen minutes out, fifteen minutes away from home. We make a hard right turn, no longer traveling along a tree-lined street.
I can’t pretend about the rain any longer. I don’t mind getting wet, but I hate the anticipation of being soaked.
So I tug the dog’s leash and tell him we’re going to run. This time, we make it three or four minutes. Then, heart beating hard against my chest, I huff and puff as the rain pounds against us. It’s a deluge.
As soon as I can, we run some more. All the way home. Five minutes straight and I don’t die. Or collapse. Or have to stop. Quite an improvement from the first jaunt.
Inside the house, simultaneously rain-drenched and sweating, I praise myself for pushing from two to five minutes at a stretch. I contemplate alternating walking and running with the dog in a few hours, even if it isn’t raining, especially if it’s not raining.
Two hours later, the sun shines bright. The dog lies at my feet. I’m still in gym clothes. I can see the leash hanging by the side door.
I switch on my computer to write today’s blog post.
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