I'm sitting here with a slightly sore left knee, thinking about my first 5K.
I ran it yesterday! Saturday, April 17, 2010.
My goal was to finish in under 40 minutes. My official time was 37.33, so says the chip. Yep, they even let the beginners wear chips!
I hadn't run in close to nine years. There's a reason for this... I used to run to escape my problems. I ran excessively to punish myself, "vent" my emotions, and just plain bury them. I ran away from difficult circumstances... Nine years ago I committed myself to facing them, and that meant no longer running - figuratively and literally.
Two years ago I began to realize that I really needed to exercise, but it was a terrifying prospect. I vividly remember meeting with a pilates instructor in my chiropractor's office - tears streaming down my face - as I shared my concerns with her. My need for exercise, but my fear of abusing it again. It took another two years before I could do it. With the encouragement of friends, I laced up my shoes and headed out for a 1.2 mile run/walk a few weeks ago.
I've been doing it ever since, and I've discovered that I love it. I run with a smile, wave at cars passing by, and enjoy my surroundings. I think this is a good thing. A great thing, in fact!
Nine years ago, much of my life was a closed-off secret. Today, it's a wide-open book.
Nine years ago, I ran alone most of the time. Today, I run with friends.
Yesterday's run was practically poetic... I was surrounded by friends - most made within the last 8 years, two from high school. And these two sweet "friends" from high school were not even my friends back then. By today's standards, I'd say no one was. No one really knew me back then.
As I think about my 5K... All the nights that Bryan and the boys cheered for me and waved as I took off on "training" runs. All the friends who knew about my emotional struggles and encouraged my every step. The 6:30am text from Lynne. The Race with Jenny. Congratulatory hugs and knowing smiles from countless friends. And Chris Cakes with Ryan and his family... I am just so grateful for my life. I thank God for the chance to grow up, heal, mature ... and cultivate meaningful friendships, appropriate boundaries, and healthy life choices.
Here's to my continued running journey and sincere relationships with you!
"I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith." ~ 2 Timothy 4:7