Wednesday, August 27, 2008
Just Showing Up
I'm running again. By "again" I mean that I am seriously putting miles on the road for the first time in more than nine months. In no way does that make me an official runner (although I do buy Runner's World magazine every month...mostly to dream of having real runners' legs and to check out the very cool running gear!). I'm up to about 2.5 miles at least three times a week and am loving the way I feel.
I have a running partner and she has been instrumental in my recent success. She is funny. She says she runs because I make her do it. She drags her running shoes to the bus stop and acts like she is dreading the run as much as she dreads going to see her OB/GYN. Seriously. To hear her tell it, she only runs so she can say things like, "Oh, sorry Mr. Plumber Man, but I need to know when you will be here because I was going to RUN this morning." She also loves the idea of her shirt showing her sweat stains after a hard run. She is actually considering the different colors and fabrics of running shirts to optimize the look of perspiration after her workout. I know, she is sick...but I love her. And I also know that she loves the way she feels after she runs, no matter what she says.
Today, however, she couldn't run with me. She was waiting for the plumber, after all. But she watched my little one so that I wouldn't have to push the extra 40+ pounds of jogger and toddler. I was feeling ready to run at my own pace, with my power songs blasting on my iPod, free to be me. I actually felt really special to be able to have this time to myself....a chance to think, to reflect, to spend time with God.
Whatever I had envisioned my run to be....it totally was NOT. My chest hurt, my legs were tight, my music (somehow) sucked and I was lonely. Not what I'm used to on my power runs. I'm not sure if it was the extra 4 hours of fasting before running, the lack of a companion to pace me, the warmer temperatures or just the fact that I was not running in my own personal Shangri-la. The bottom line was this....I was frustrated and disappointed when I finished.
It would have been really easy to let it get me down. The good runs...the ones in the early morning with the rain pouring down where you know you are running ONLY because you CHOOSE to run, in spite of everthing working against you ...those are the ones I dream about. I call it running "Rocky Style".
But every run can't be that way. Some days are going to be harder because we are sore, or because its hot, or even just because we have limited time. Maybe we had a bad night and are only running because our neighbor is dragging us out the door. But there are a thousand reasons to run, even when we don't want to. Then again, there are a thousand reasons to do EVERYTHING good in life, even when we don't want to.
The bottom line is that, in spite of our excuses, we can JUST SHOW UP and let God do the rest. It's not always going to be great. Sometimes it will hurt like crazy. Sometimes we may have to crawl home. Sometimes it will totally bite. But we end the experience knowing that, if nothing else, we SHOWED UP and gave it what we had to give. We have to trust that God will honor our discipline to do what is right and reward us with an encouraged outlook.
And THAT , if nothing else, will keep us running.
Posted by KC at 9:00 PM