We run and ride to get healthy.
But sometimes that’s not enough.
We get sick. We go to the doctor. Or the pharmacy.
Then we take pills. They heal us sometimes. Cure a fever. Stop a cold.
We also take pills for sustenance. Vitamins. Minerals. Herbal supplements.
Some people believe that makes all the difference.
The pills don’t say a word. Down the hatch. Dissolve. Chemicals release.
You feel better? Someone asks.
Pain pills can be addictive. They keep you from acute discomfort and then numb your mind with their achingly narcotic pull.
Innocent pills. Guilty pills.
We start when we’re small with St. Joseph’s aspirin. Small orange pill. You can chew it.
Then we learn to swallow pills. First we barf them back up.
Some religions don’t take pills. Christian Scientists pray for everything a pill can do.
Athletes take pills to produce performance. Steroids. Amphetamines. PEDs.
Do pills make people better?
If you don’t take the Pill, you might make a new person. Whether that is better or not depends on whether you expect that outcome or not. Pills are the tarsnakes of the human mind.
That’s true with all pills, it seems. We take them to help us get through life. Through a run. Through a ride. Through a swim. Through a triathlon.
Through a test. Through a divorce. Through a marriage. Through trials of any kind.
It’s all about the pills. Or is it?
Those who benefit from pills are grateful for the help. They put air back in our tires. Help us cope with a senseless world. Calm our overanxious nerves. Help us ease pain from training too hard.
If you can take all the pills that someone else was supposed to take and gather them in one bottle, as I did after someone I loved passed away, it makes you think.
Are we all just a pill away from sanity or safety?
They are remarkable inventions, in any case. One cannot argue for or against them and be right. It all comes down to circumstance and the choices you make.
Yet to “be a pill” means making life harder for someone else. So go figure.
And every run, ride or swim we make is like a pill. It changes our head. Forms our body. Releases endorphins. Buys you time. Or spends it well.
We run and ride for all these reasons. And to avoid taking any more pills than necessary.
For the most part.