WASHINGTON DDB — WASHINGTON -- President Bush bounded into the White House yesterday morning grinning broadly and flashing two fingers at reporters.
Adding a little pumping motion with his arms, Mr. Bush made clear that his hand signal didn't mean victory or peace but a successful return to the jogging trail during which he completed his normal distance of two miles for the first time since developing heart and thyroid problems early last month.
"He felt terrific; he was in really good form," said Sean Walsh, a White House press aide who was with the president at Camp David, where the jogging took place about 6:30 a.m.
A White House physician who was also on the scene confirmed the diagnosis with a check of the president's heart rate and pulse showing all systems normal.
Moving at a pace of about 10 minutes per mile, Mr. Bush was "back to full speed, at least as far as jogging is concerned," Mr. Walsh said.
The president has not yet fully recovered from the Graves' Disease that knocked his thyroid gland out of whack about mid-April, causing it to pump too many hormones into his bloodstream and eventually setting off an irregular heartbeat.
Mr. Bush continues to take daily medication both to control his heart rate and his thyroid, which is being slowly destroyed by the treatments. Within a few weeks, the president is expected to begin taking medication that will replace the thyroid function.
There have been earlier signs that Mr. Bush has been feeling more like his old self, but yesterday's jogging triumph was an important milestone for him.