A Little Bit Stronger Now

Last time you heard from me, I was in the process of getting my groove back. I’m happy to report that my groove has arrived, and is polishing itself to become at least a reflection of better days.

I spent many, many days walking; slowly, slowly, slowly rebuilding my strength in order to fight (or race) another day. I’m not there yet. I’m still building. I’m sure I always will be. But, now, finally, running feels good again. I’m actually running (and I’m using the term loosely here), and it feels spectacular. The weather is good, all the trails are calling me; the flora and fauna are changing and morphing into their autumn selves. The colors are amazing, the fall critters are moving, and God is really showing out. Fall is one of my favorite times to run.

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Starting over is a thing I guess I’m getting used to. I know that in running, as in life, new beginnings are part of the process, and I’m learning to embrace that. While it is frustrating and annoying, I am filled with joy and thankfulness that new starts are still available to me.

As the fall racing season builds to full pitch, I’m excited about racing again. I’ve taken a year off from racing and I find myself pawing at the starting line, anxious to be at it again. Next weekend will find me in New York City; not running the marathon, but watching some of my heroes run (Go, Meb!!). That is inspiration at its finest. I absolutely cannot wait.

Renewal has come to me in a combination of spiritual revival, physical exertion, and mental discipline. Mind, body, and spirit must unite to push me forward, strengthen my resolve, and get my rear in gear. It’s fine to determine to pursue a goal, but until my body responds, it’s just a mental exercise. It’s fine to push myself physically, but until my mind kicks into gear and cooperates, it’s just empty movement. The unifying force is my spirit, which communes with my maker and reminds me that prayer and contemplation are wonderful, but unless they are combined with a body that provides “boots on the ground” for Jesus, they are useless. I want that body to be the best that it can be, whatever stage of life I’m in. So, I run. That’s the bottom line of motivation for me. Not to look a certain way, but to feel a certain way. To have the ability to use my body to glorify the kingdom, whatever that means, physically or spiritually.

So, I find myself a little bit stronger now. A weekend at the beach spent with a dear friend (who, at 54, had never been to the beach before, so I got to see it anew through her eyes!), an eight mile long run with an additional mile for warm up/cool down, last weekend spent underwater (renewal at its best), the prospect of a trip with my man for next weekend, and the spectacular weather and color that fall brings have all contributed to the renewed strength I feel.

I’m looking forward to what the upcoming, busy months have to offer. I’m learning to be fearless, embrace the slow road back to strength, and take each day as it comes. Thank you, sweet Jesus.

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