Way back in February, when there was still snow on the ground here in Madison, I was walking on the treadmill after work one night and felt the urge to run. I did. It was not bad. I did it a few more times during the workout. My next workout I was intentional about the running. I had several times in the past five years started the Couch to 5k app and knew you started with walking a few minutes and then running for one. But I never got past week three. So many of life’s distractions, hurts, fears and even celebrations kept me form moving forward. To muster the courage to download the app one more time was huge. There were so many things that held me back. On the morning of February 7, I took a deep breath and once again downloaded. I had the words of a friend going over and over in my head” what you start, what you dream of, you make happen. ”
My daughter, Naomi had also told me in November of 2019 that she saw me as an fitness junky. I kind of laughed. I was not sure what she saw in me. I just wanted to loose weight and had started Weight Watchers in early October. Fitness junky could not have been me.
I honestly had to evaluate why it was so hard to download that app for the 5th time. As I looked inside I realized I was afraid of being strong or perhaps even defiant with my vision of self. I realized I was often seen as obedient or compliant. I don’t rock the boat. But taking charge of my fitness and running was so strong in me. Surrendering fear. Seeing what it might look like to move from strength to strength. Instead of always hanging on “in my weakness He is made strong” these things were compelling me to move forward.
With each walk/run I was enjoying the journey more and more. I liked getting stronger ( perhaps defiant, people like me don’t run) .
Then my the fitness center at Goodman Community Center closed. I didn’t think I could run on the road without the treadmill to hang onto. But I was not going to NOT finish couch to 5k again. So I kept running. Looking for a race became fruitless as we went into #saferathome. I made arrangements with my cousin to do a 5k with her when this was all done. And then I saw this post about running a Quarantine 5k to support a ministry in San Francisco. (Thanks Isabel!) After all of this running I actually hesitated to sign up. I hadn’t finished Couch to 5K. I still had a week to go on the race date and I had yet to clear 2 miles. I wouldn’t be able to run that. But I looked at all of the miles I have run, pulled out everything I had learned from finishing a marathon, thought of all the encouragement I have received over the past 5 weeks (Thanks my friends), thought of Naomi’s words and my friend’s as well. Yes. I can do this. I can still finish the app. I can raise money for Because Justice Matters (https://www.becausejusticematters.org/). I can pray. Pray for those in the Tenderloin who are testing positive for covid19. For those who are in unsafe places. Pray for peace where stress and tension is running high. I can run and pray. So today, I polished my nails ( because it’s race day and that’s what I do). I put on the beautiful headband that I received from from a friend in the mail yesterday, laced up my shoes and headed out the door.
I ran a 5k today! But this is probably just the beginning of the next journey. I’m sensing perhaps a little more defiance in my future. Defiance, because justice matters, and to change the status quo, we might just need to be a little defiant!