This week started off a little shaky.
Last week I went hunting with my family. I took all of my running stuff with every intention of running wild through the hills of coastal Oregon. I had these huge dreams of getting up every morning and running through the woods with nothing but the trees and woodland animals to keep me company-the cold fresh air rushing through my lungs. It was a beautiful dream…….then I got there.
On the way there I had to drive blind through a thick cloud of wood smoke (There are logging companies that harvest the trees up in the hills and occasionally they burn the leftovers to make room for the new trees they plant). It was awful and thick and suffocating. By the time I got up to our camp site I no longer had to guess where the road in front of me was, but the smell and oxygen robbing particulates were very noticeable and I found it hard to breath. I also noticed the very steep grade in the road I thought I would so effortlessly be running every morning. The first half would be down hill and the second half would be a highly improbable feat for me. So needless to say the only run I got in last week was the one I got in before going camping.
After I got back I was so worn out , and my doctor’s office called me and told me that I might have TB-yes, a lot happened at the end of last week (the whole TB thing was just a game of telephone gone terribly wrong-no TB for me!) I was feeling discouraged, exhausted and that old feeling of helplessness and doom was creeping into the back of my mind. I kept thinking, “Oh nuts!! This is the end. I am going to turn into the slug I turned into last winter and retreat into a pit of self pity and misery. My runs are over…..woe is me!!” Maybe not those words, exactly, but almost exactly…. So this week I wanted to not fizzle. Monday came and went full of tired and sleepy excuses, as did Tuesday, but Wednesday dawned with the realization that I had made a commitment to run with my friend while our boys attended scouts at our church. Wahoo!!! I was so thrilled. I was going to do this!! So Wednesday night came, I got dressed in my running garb, grabbed my sneakers and drove to the church. That is where Jenni Cragun and I met. We ran-it was fun, we talked, it was motivating and uplifting. It was just what I needed-I felt renewed and energized.
I have since decided to revise my opinion on running. I was once asked if I thought it was a social thing or a personal thing and I responded that it was personal. But come to find out you really do need support and motivation and prodding every once in a while that comes from outside of yourself. Running does need to be a personal choice, a personal competition, a personal commitment, BUT…we all need each other. Life shows us that we need people around us-people to love, serve, live for and people who are willing to listen, help and support us. We need each other. We are social beings. Running is the same. Some runs we have to do alone-just like some challenges or heartbreaks or experiences we have to go through just us and our Creator, but other times those challenges and heartbreaks are opportunities to support and love one another. This week Jenni lifted me up and helped me back on track. I was pulled off of a slippery slope I had resigned myself to and since Wednesday night I have gone on two great personal runs and a nice walk with a friend.
I love running! I am so grateful for Jenni. Something so simple as running with me made such a huge difference to me and my life. That was this week’s running insight. I hope you will take it to heart as I have and make a personal commitment to try harder to be someone else’s “running buddy” and lift a friend.