Savor. Simplify. Shine.
One woman's thoughts on deepening Spirituality in our increasingly frantic world
I once was a distance runner. Not competitively, I never ran track in school or competed with a team. I discovered a love for races after I moved to Chicago. I ran one marathon, two half-marathons, and two 10 miles races. Only one of those was after Owen was born; a 15K in November of 2013 when he was five years old. It went really well. The weather was great and I ran faster than I thought I would. I was it better shape than I had been in a while. Most importantly, I had a great time and it made me feel proud.
When it was over, though, I didn't run again.
I'm not sure how that happened. The weather changed. The following Spring, when I might have got back outside to run, we lost John's Dad unexpectedly. We had more death and hardship that year - blow after blow. I was holding my little family together and growing my business and fitness fell to the bottom of my list. My feet hurt when I attempted to run again and I embraced lower-impact indoor exercise. I have had up and down consistency in exercise since that time. I have done yoga, workout programs on DVD and You-Tube with intervals, weight training, cardio... nothing has been the same as running. Running forces me to get my heart-rate up and after some time, it is quite meditative. When I trained for the marathon, I used to say "I like running until I'm stupid". As someone whose thoughts are often racing, it clears my mind.
I hadn't thought about running in a while when my husband gently brought it up to me over the winter. I was doing our Clean Eating program and working out 5 days a week and still not feeling really "fit". He said, "Sara, I think you looked great and seemed really happy when you were running. Get good shoes and start again in the Spring". When I sat down to make my goals for the year, Owen had been asking me about races. He is very competitive and wanted to give running a try. John's words came back to me, and I told him I would do a 5K with him this year.
This morning, I decided it was time to begin. If Owen and I are going to do a race this year, we need to start. I told him to get dressed and put a sweat band over those glorious locks. I laced up my shoes, tightened my ponytail, and we headed to the park. We brought the dog and did one mile today. One little mile was our beginning. Owen was surprised at how far that really was - I knew he would be! It felt so good. My heart rate got up. I was breathing hard. The sun was shining. The wind was blowing. I was running for likely the first time in years. I felt strength in my body from all the work I have done. I felt time passing with my almost ten-year-old running next to me. I felt secure in returning to something that makes me myself. It was like a big metaphor lapping the track hearing my feet hit the pavement. It was the first run in a long time, but it wasn't my first run.
What old thing can you make new today?
Sara Russell (Sarakeet) lives in Chicago with her husband and son. She heard God in the trees and now counts down to planting her garden and camping under the stars every year. She loves time with 'her people' and strives each day to feel radiant, creative, adventurous and free!