A little-hailed benefit of exercise

Those of you who know me, prepare for a shock: I love running.

It’s a newfound love. I still, mind you, find the actual stepping one foot in front of the other not only painful but awkward, as if those were somebody else’s legs down there. But yesterday’s experience gives me a major incentive to do it anyway.

I do manage to force myself to run at least once a week. The old pant-and-shuffle. And yesterday was as glorious a day as any to waste by causing myself pain. I took a little detour to a certain log in my neighborhood, just to see whether anything interesting had come up. Six weeks ago I found it blooming with oysters, but the last time I’d gone back I’d found just a few babies plus a few of the now-ubiquitous cold-weather Flammulina velutipes. I figured they were done for the year. After all, I’ve already mourned the waning of mushroom season.

As so often happens, I was wrong. The first oysters from the log had been white; the next batch had yellow caps; these were darker-capped. But still obviously oysters—a lot of them, and in good shape. I shivered as I stripped down to my tank top to swaddle my haul in my long-sleeved shirt, and carried it home like a baby.

It’s like having a fungus for a coach. I may even go running again today.

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