Tonight after Curt got home from work tonight and my two travelers got home from DC, I made myself go for a run. MADE is the operative word. Because, frankly, I didn't feel like running. I had taken a five day break while I was gone and just was feeling lazy and complacent about running. I didn't want to go and I had moments where I thought, "I'm just not going to go. What difference does it even make if I miss just one more day?" And yet, my complacency was an indicator that I needed to move before things got any worse. One more day stretches to two more and three more, and suddenly I am back where I started-- I know the drill.
And so, I went while Curt took the baby and picked up Chinese takeout. (Hey, I am just not back in full homemaking mode after my trip.) The first part of the run was plain old painful. I was stiff and could tell I have already lost ground in just five short days. I have written (I think) about the one stretch of road I face every single time where I just want to stop. This never changes-- it is always on this one stretch. Every. Single. Time. I would think that the more I ran, the less problematic this would be. And yet, I still struggle. You can imagine what a struggle it was today after my break.
But the great part about struggling through this long stretch is that as I get to the downhill part, I hit my stride and start feeling (however briefly) that I could run for miles and miles. Like I am Rocky when he reaches the top of the steps. It is the reward for hanging in there through the tough part. I love that part of the run. Today during that part it began to rain-- hard. And my shoe came untied. And yet I ran, feeling incredible. Listening to Tina Turner sing, "You're simply the best" on my Ipod. Yeah, I was thinking, I am the best runner around (there was no one around.) And then-- amazingly enough-- the song from one of the Rocky movies, "There's No Easy Way Out" came on. And I was the champion, running in the rain, struggling against all the odds to finish the race.
And then it really started raining hard-- the bottom dropped out and I knew I better tie my shoe lest I trip and fall and break up this happy moment of runner's bliss. So, I headed for home and shelter and a shower. But I am glad I went running and I can't wait to go again tomorrow. And I feel like I passed some test.
I won't insult your intelligence by drawing dramatic parallels between my running story and your spiritual walk and other various elements of this life we are all living-- I will trust you to do that for yourself.