this week’s long run bullied me. it kicked me down, spat in my face, slammed my name all over the place. the 8 mile run took my lunch money and made me cry like a girl. just like a bully– it lured me into a false sense of security before it lowered the boom.
i had a great front half and was feeling kinda special. i stayed with my homeskillets for most of the first 4 miles and saw my regular bunch of characters while i was running.
the nearly nude was on the trail– and he had a friend (who was also rocking the man boobs). i want to say, “bravo to them”– for being secure enough to run shirtless. but, i have to confess– my eyes don’t know where to look and i get very uncomfortable. so, the holla-fest running squad does not give shout-outs to nearly nudes. (clearly– i have issues with nudity i need to address)
i also saw my very favorite couple on the trail. they hold hands and walk at a very leisurely pace, but they’re all decked out in sports gear– like any minute may be THE MINUTE to start running. they smile and raise the roof right back at me every time i see them. they make me smile.
and, i made contact with one group of runners i’ve been encouraging for a while. we gave each other hollas and fist pumps– and, as they passed me, the lead runner asked, “what IS your name?”
so. i was feeling PRETTY GOOD as i entered in to mile 5. i was super-sassy– throwing out little dance moves while listening to “body movin” by the beastie boys. then it turned ugly.
my body started actin’ a fool– my right knee started grumbling . each step brought a stabbing pain– and, it stopped me cold (bright side– i think i’ve finally conquered the blisters) .
the 8 mile “run” became a tough reminder– life’s highs can be quickly followed by lows.
and just like in life– with the pain comes unavoidable truth.
i was gonna have a loooooong walk back to the car.
since choosing to run– the word “choice” has been bouncing around in my head– during the 3 mile limp home, the word kept gnawing at me.
i choose to get up and meet my wonderful homeskillet. i choose to face the long run. i choose to finish the goal– a half marathon.
WHY?? WHY?? WHY??
this is not easy. this is not fun. all i’ll get at the end is a t-shirt.
so, why do i choose to drag myself out of bed to face a pain fest?
because there’s freedom in choice. there’s direction in choice. there’s consequence in choice. this makes me think of the boo bah.
her choice has cut her freedom, forced her into a certain direction– she’s facing the consequences of one choice. i REALLY miss my sister.
for those who don’t know– my sweet sister is serving a 2 year prison sentence for a drunk driving accident she caused last september. thankfully, no one was killed– but she and the two people in the other vehicle (amanda and matthew) sustained serious injuries.
i think about erin, amanda, and matthew a lot on saturday mornings. i’m so grateful God spared all three of them and allowed all of the families more time to love them and just be with them.
i think about how her choice to drive drunk changed them all for the rest of their lives. i think about how i just want to hang out with boo bah and give her a big hug. i think about how life is a mash-up of one mess right after another– and moments of rest, peace, and joy are true gifts not to be taken lightly.
i also think about how EVERY song on my mp3 player reminds me of prison some how. there’s kelly clarkson’s “break away” — might as well be singin’ about a prison break, christina aguilera’s “genie in a bottle” — just re-title that one “boobah in a jail cell”, and rod stewart’s mega-hit “if you think i’m sexy”– well, let’s face it– rod should have been incarcerated for that skintight body suit he sported in the late ’70’s. that look makes the nearly nudes seem prudish.
my mind is a weird place, peeps. but boo bah would understand.
because boo bah made a bad choice– i’m left missing her, praying for her, and looking toward the day we’ll be back together to share our strange view of the world.
these are heavy thoughts to have early in the morning time.
this saturday morning– the combination of missing erin and the job of running 8 miles became too much.
i hit an emotional wall.
the pain, the sadness, plus the walk– made me a little cranky.
SURPRISE! i get cranky.
in fact– i battled crankiness for 3 miles.
but, i still tried to give an encouraging word to the other runners on the trail.
i threw out REALLY LAME ooo OOO’s and some SAD hollas.
it was easier to not dwell on the pain, on the sadness– when i focused on others.
i think when the trail gets hard i have yet another choice to make. i can choose to let the crankanoodle attitude take hold or i can deny it access to my heart and mind– my thoughts, my day, my life.
am i sad? yes. do i hurt? yes.
will i let the cranky change me?
my HOPE won’t let it.
i wish i could say i finished the run strong– that the decision to NOT be cranky was enough to fuel a super-strong moment of triumph. and, God pulled out a miracle– filling the air with music from chariots of fire as a show of support.
that didn’t happen.
instead, i rounded the bend– to see three of the most supportive ‘skillets i know– cheering me on as i limped towards the finish.
the closer i got– the more emotional i became.
in short– i was limping, whimpering, and my face was in the ugly cry.
those sweet ‘skillets met me with water, aspirin, and offered a piggyback ride.
no judgment. just grace and support.
when it was all done– my super-fit homeskillet said, “there are good days and bad days on the trail”.
how true. how true.