A young man running in Iowa City, IA, October 4, 2020. (Photo Alan Light)

Press play to hear this AudioHopper Original production.

In this AudioHopper production, Dan Friedman narrates his story about “Running to find America on Earth Day.” His plan was to finish a “sponsored half marathon from Hoboken up the east side of the Hudson and then over the George Washington Bridge to the Little Red Lighthouse.” But his back was getting to him and he was worried about his herniated discs and the April weather.

“Every day I do the crossword to check my mind works.” the author muses. “Every week I exercise to check that my body works. I’m running early diagnostics on systems that no longer self-repair the way they used to. I enjoy the challenge as I always have, but I now welcome the validation in a way I never used to need.”

This story was originally published by Dan’s Voice of Reason as “The Exquisite Beauty of Fragility.”

By Dan Friedman

Dan Friedman is the former executive editor of the Forward and the author of an ebook about Tears for Fears, the 80s rock band. He has a PhD from Yale and writes about books, whisky and the dangers of online hate. Subscribe to his newsletter.