Monday, May 9, 2016

A Reason To Run (Part 6)

The one place I learn that there is always a first mile to run.

It really doesn’t matter how far I’m going; whether it is three miles or 15, all runs start pretty much the same way. I walk briskly up my street struggling with my dog’s excitement pulling me in all directions as I wait for my GPS watch to lock into a satellite. As soon as I hear the beep my steps begin to quicken, and my heart begins to pump a little faster, but my lungs struggle to catch up. Lizzy stays to my left, but still filled with enthusiasm, pulls strongly on me from the front. Running becomes awkward, bothersome and frustrating, because as my heart  beats faster, I fight for every breath I take. Believe it or not, I want to quit almost every time. But I always keep going because I know that my body’s rhythm will soon begin to take shape and harmony will find it’s place. I keep running in good faith because I know that within the next few minutes, what seems to be so difficult for me at the moment, will soon begin to follow a steady flow. I keep going because running has taught me that the first mile is a lie.

Somewhere between the first huff and puff and the first mile mark magic happens. My steps fall into a predictable rhythm, and my breathing follows suit. Lizzy, dutifully and in perfect stride stays to my left.  I soon settle into a comfortable pace in which my legs, heart, lungs and entire body work in harmony so I can  keep going on for as long as I have determined to go. My run then becomes second nature and a joy to endure.

In the same way, it seems like there is so much in life in which we have a first mile to run, a first mile lie that we have to learn to overcome. Are you starting a new job? Have you just started a project where momentum hasn’t showed up yet? Are you a new mom trying to survive on minimal sleep, or or an empty nester that can’t stay away from the vacant room? Have you just moved? Divorced? Or have you experienced some other loss that requires you to learn the ins and outs of a new normal?

Take heart my dear ones.  Don’t believe the first mile. Before you know it you will fall into a steady, doable pace, one that will keep you breathing steady. Your heart will soon adjust and and your movements will follow more predictable days. My hope is that in time you will perhaps even experience a second wind that puts a smile on your face. Life will go on and you will be able to enjoy it. It’s coming.

The first mile will soon be over.

Please know that I understand that life can be so much more painful than simply lacing up your running shoes and getting used to a new rhythm. I once ran a Half Marathon in which every single mile felt like it was the first one. There were many more hills than I expected and I was not feeling well. I was exhausted, disappointed, and at some level even mad. I was so relieved when it was all over, I just wanted to go home, eat, and crawl into my bed for a day or two. Life is just hard, and unpredictable. It has more hills than we expect and some days seem like they will never end. We want our circumstances to just go away and be able to crawl in bed for a day or two, or forever.

I moved away from home, from my beloved Chile 29 years ago, yet sometimes I still feel those lonely, home-sick days in the core of my being as if I had just left yesterday.

My mother died 16 years ago, and even though most all days carry on like a song, some days I still wake up and feel like I am running that same first mile all over again. My chest is tight and I long for her smile.

But I keep going. I must.

Some runs are harder than others. Some Days are easier than others. Remember that what seems hard and nearly impossible now will soon find an easier flow. Be encouraged and don’t stop moving forward, some day you will look back and be glad you didn’t give up. Keep going in good faith.  

The first mile will soon be over.


Thanks for stopping by today. Please feel free to join me as I muse on my other 5 reasons to run.