Jaron and I recently helped with a retreat for young adults, sponsored by the Episcopal Diocese of OK. I had a talk on vocation and I spoke some on running. I know, it sounds like a stretch, but it had a purpose. Don't worry, I'm not going to talk to you about vocation. Well, at least not today. But I am going to tell you a little about running, because it's been on my mind a lot.
In my heart of hearts I'm a runner. I'm really slow and I take walk breaks. I know a majority of runners have already discounted me as a true runner because of those two things. Not to mention that I haven't run regularly since very early on in my pregnancy with Emmitt. Yet, I still feel in my core that I'm a runner.
Running is the source of many memories that will forever be treasures to me. The summer after my sophomore year of college I was home in OK and my dad and I decided to train for a marathon together. We started training that summer and continued into the Fall, even after I went back to school in TX. Some weekends, I would drive to OK or my dad would come to TX so we could do long runs together. In December, we completed the White Rock Marathon in Dallas with our amazing friends and family cheering us on (I think some of them exerted more energy during the marathon than we did! :)). The experience was incredible. It pushed my mind and body in ways that I never knew possible, and it was a wonderful opportunity for bonding with my dad.
When Jaron and I moved to OK in 2007, we bought a house about a mile east of my parents'. It became a routine for my dad to run over to our house in the mornings before work, then we would run out a few miles and run back home. We'd do long runs on the weekends, followed by breakfast. During my pregnancy with Emmitt, both of my parents would come to our house in the mornings. Jaron and my dad would do the regular run and my mom and I would walk. After Emmitt was born, Jaron and my dad continued the runs, up until recently when Jaron had to have knee surgery. I loved that they kept it up, even when I couldn't.
These runs are so special. If you know me well, you know that I love an opportunity to have good fellowship, good quality time together with family and friends. I love being out in nature and seeing so much beauty that we can easily pass up in our busy lives. I love feeling my muscles working together. There's been many a science lecture on these runs. And who doesn't love a science lecture?! Oh, wait.... But still, if for no other reason, a science, math, philosophy lesson can be a great distraction from aching muscles or a weak mind during a tough run. So thank you for that, Dad (and Jaron)! Also, when I was running regularly, I was always caught up on my sports news. And finally, a run is a perfect time to talk endlessly about the possibilities for the next meal. Usually for us, the next meal was breakfast. What would we have? Mom's biscuits (a Grace Hill favorite!) and eggs, muffins, cinnamon roll biscuits, omelets? Or would we go out? We could go on and on, mouths filling up with saliva the whole time.
All this being said, I certainly don't always love to run or feel motivated to do so. As my dad says, "I don't always love running, but I love having run." So it's not always great during a run, but it's such an amazing feeling to be finished with a run. I've been out of the running game for a while now, but always hoped to get back into it. I agreed to run in the Memorial Marathon relay in April with some of my TCC work friends. As I mentioned, I love a chance for some good fellowship. Unfortunately with Jaron's surgery and a constantly changing schedule with Emmitt, I have yet to really get to training. I know, I know, it's mid March, what was I thinking?! But there will always be reasons to not start running again. I just have to do what I can. If I have to crawl most of the way, I'll do it. I walked/ran a half marathon about 6 years ago that I had not trained nearly enough for, so I'm telling myself that I can walk/run 6 or 7 miles this time.
For the first time since Emmitt was born, I got to do a morning run today. Dad ran over and met me and out we went. We ran slow, we took walk breaks, we talked sports, and I got a lesson on philosophy (the problem with other minds? was that what it was? I'm not totally sure because I fell asleep a little.). A discussion of that new show Awake led to the philosophy lesson. There's really no escaping it, haha! But it wouldn't have been right without it. I'm so thankful to be running again. I know one run does not a runner make, but a girl can be hopeful can't she?
When things got hard on runs during training for the marathon, I would repeat the following mantra. It's been helpful lately as well.
"Let us run with perseverance the race that is set out for us, looking to Jesus the pioneer and perfecter of our faith." Hebrews 12: 1&2