My last marathon this year I would walk in Spijkenisse in three weeks. Yes, Spijkenisse. But that is not going to happen, because I am injured. When I write this, my forced running abstinence lasts ten days. For someone who runs sixty, seventy or more kilometers per week, that is best to switch.

And it makes me think. About me and about running and with that about getting older, about my goals and what is hidden behind those goals. In short, now that all those questions about life do not come and go during trips on the Amsterdam pavement, they are insisting on the stagnant self.

That injury that I am now dealing with – it is a problem with muscles and tendons in my right thigh, resulting in a painful knee. That injury, therefore, is the final piece of a year in which everything went less with walking anyway. I had to lower my expectations a few times because I found out during training that I lacked the strength and endurance to really run fast. I was even sick twice.I did not do that, being sick. For years not. Not a day yet.

Is it the age? In a month I am 43. Even at that age you can still walk very well and far, but still really hard?Walking at a high pace requires a lot from the body. Maybe my injury is a sign of my body. Perhaps my body tells me that it is time to really let go of my dream of a marathon within three hours.

Would that be bad? Is my running more worthwhile if I run fast times? I preach myself that this is not so. The highest level of walking is when you take pleasure from walking and not from the results, I wrote earlier. And I still really like that. But still, somewhere there is also a hungry wolf in me who wants to be fed with results. That wolf wants to be special, different, faster than the majority of the running pack.

Acceptance is the key word. Accept that I can not run now. Accept that I am 43 and that I will not be faster anymore.Accept what is, so that I see that feeding that hungry, performance and prestige-oriented wolf will not make me happy.

Do you know what makes me happy? My wife and daughter of course. But also grateful for the past six years in which I ran a lot of kilometers and never got seriously injured. And run.The rhythm of my footsteps and my breath.Kilometers long to nothing in particular. Fast or slow, walk around walking.

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