Today was my first outside run of the year. Absolutely gorgeous; forty degrees, the ice finally off the sidewalks, big, fat orange sun coming up ahead of me…. Beautiful. Of course, I lost my mind a little bit. The problem is, I have no ability to regulate my tempo, which means I run as quickly as the beat of the music on my ipod OR as furiously as the thoughts spinning round my head. Add to that my german-bred belief that “it doesn’t count if it doesn’t hurt” and I’m lucky that I didn’t pass out on the summit of the first hill.
It was awesome.
My husband won’t run with me anymore. When we started jogging together, I hated it. He’d say, “Savor the moment…enjoy the breeze.” And I’d hiss, “Shut up.” He’d go, “Look at that beautiful view!” And I’d respond, “I hate you.” You wouldn’t think it could be so, but apparently, I was a lot less annoying back then. At some point I just decided, fine. If we were gonna’ do it, by God, let’s DO it! Now days, if I don’t run longer or faster than I did last week, I consider it a dismal failure. My instinct upon spying a hill is to sprint up it as fast as I can, shin splints be damned. Kirk is all zen and appreciating the moment and savoring the experience, and I’m…. Well, if my husband is like the precise and soothing art of a Japanese tea service, I am the roller derby. He’s all nuance and degree. I have two speeds; off and GO!
In the interest of full disclosure I should state, I’m not even fast. I have no genetic ability to EVER be really good at this. I am, and will remain, a rank amateur. Doesn’t matter. I don’t even LIKE running. It doesn’t matter! What I LIKE is knowing that I have taken a weakness and stomped on it with spiky, steel-toed boots. It’s how I approach things; I run around in circles waving my arms until I pick up enough momentum to CRASH through my resistance. I have to somehow be moving faster than the eighty-thousand whirling thoughts in my head to achieve lift-off. Sure, there are easier ways to approach life. Less exhausting and more moderate modes of being… I’m just not particularly skilled at any of them. That also doesn’t matter. What matters is that we get to the top of whatever hill we need to climb– walking, crawling or skipping. I’ll meet you at the top. I’ll be out of breath and doubled over, but, as God is my witness, I’ll be there.