First run of 2021
020 isolation sort of restricted my desire to run. I mean, restricted my desire to do anything but running, in particular, seemed bad. There were all those people out there and that virus… and I’d be breathing heavy and sweaty.
The above is a laser-light photo of the cloud of droplets you expel when you say the phrase “stay healthy.” This was the “normal” range of focalization, i.e. the person was speaking at typical Volker and rate. That highlighted area? That is the fleck generated by the “th” in “healthy”. To produce that sound in English, you press your tongue to the bottom of your front teeth and flick outward with a puff of hair. It is a “voiced dental fricative” sound which is one that requires constrictive air be pushed across the vocal cords and over a grooved tongue, which accelerates outward when you flick your tongue at the end.
This is a fancy way to say that those TH’s produce a special blob of droplets by which COVID can be transmitted. The TH cloud can hang around a person for up to 8 minutes depending on ventilation and even that little bit a thstuff in the air can be life threatening to encounter. And that’s just from talking TH’s
If I, the dude huffing down the street, has a symptomatic COVID, that cloud could extend for dozens of feet behind me. One long infecthion train. I’m not interested ing in either running through that cloud, breathing at an increased rate, or being the guy making clouds like that.
So, no, I didn’t run much in 2020. And now I’m considering never using TH voiced dental fricatives again too…
Veracity known, (and why else am I here?) I hadn’t been running much in 2019 because my respiration issues were not well controlled and new responsibilities with the new house and some relationship stuff sapped both time an energy. I wasn’t out of shape exactly - our orchard had me working outside consistently - but I had lost much of the pulmonary conditioning I’d gained in previous years.
And my mood was … not great. 2019 going into 2020 was a rough shift to begin.. and 2020’s end? What’s a little insurrection between constituents… a guy is liable to just take a pass on 2021.
Each year I pick a word to ascribe to it - last year’s was “community” (more reason why 2020 was a special kind of sad for me) and 2019’s was “cultivation” (we bought an orchard, you see) - and 2021 needs to be a return to the activties that were lost to a year indoors. Many activties lost.
While 2020 forced us to simplify - Alyska and I cut our spending nearly in half from not eating out or.. going out? Which is bonkers. But amidst all of our “can’t go out” we stopped doing any activities we liked - like art, or like running. And looking back at 2020, I can see the acts I keenly missed.
Like art and running.
So 2021 is all about reinvigoration. A return to the vigor or art and exercise and the vigor created in turn.
So today I went for a run. I saw no people out around me, which was a little surprising considering how beautiful it was today.
It was hardly a glamorous one, like one from a Tom Hanks movie, but it wasn’t hard. I was breathing heavy but in a reasonable way. My asthma was in decent shape - honestly, I actually lost weight in quarantine and it probably helped some? But I’m definitely a far cry from where I used to be.
Stuff seems better around the US (marginally) with a new president and locals in Madison seemingly starting to actually care about COVID precautions. Our rates are reasonably low. Vaccines are getting in arms.
A guy may just be liable to be optimistic and make some art and dust…