I can remember early on running track in elementary school. Initially I joined with friends for the cute uniforms, later I would end up loving the comradere and develop a love for running. That love definitely developed at a gradual pace interesting enough so did my endurance. My father and I would run and practice long jumps through the residential blocks and sometimes along the lakefront. Chicago has such a beautiful scenic lakefront.
My view was always from Hyde Park towards downtown unlike the picture above. Many times my dad and I would run from 51st St where we lived to 39th St sometimes further if my dad was in a good mood, sometimes just to “The Point” and back.
He’d always run further and faster than me but encourage me to keep up. As I got older I would continue to run. Some of my most favorite memories are the 5am Saturday runs with my dad. I’m reminded of this memory and countless others today as my little family and I ran the course of my company’s 5K. I went for the scenery and exercise but also I wanted to go to encourage my daughter who’s on her elementary school’s cross county team. I am more than out of shape but it’s funny how when these old bones get to moving how muscle memory kicks in and slowly my endurance peaks. The scenery though nothing like the city’s lakefront had its equally beautiful moments.
I can hear my daughter in the distance still as I type this, “Come on mommy you can do it!” The same words I traded her this past Monday when she raced against multiple schools on seemingly one of her hardest race courses yet. She was exhausted but she finished and among the 20s within well over 200 kids grades 6th through 8th. My parents never got to see any of my meets, I would come home and share my accomplishments and failures. My dad would always encourage me to keep trying and never give up. It’s quite interesting to hear munchkin communicate those same words to her father and he too give her the same advice.
I’ve run many races in my life. I’m currently on one of the longest ones as we know not all races are physical. It’s good every once in a while to stop and dwell on some of the good times and memories you have especially when they circle back to fun times that connect your past to your present as running does for me.
As I got older I always had a desire to run a marathon. I’ve never ran one to this day and being out of shape in my mid thirties it’s almost safe to say I may not ever. I can recall my father excited about my desire to run and him buying me expensive running shoes every time. Each pair of those shoes were never used as intended or never broken into fully. As I look down I realize these old running shoes I bought on a clearance sale because they were cute with no expectation to use them for their marketed purpose have been used more and for running than any other running shoe I’ve owned. Crazy!
They are very old, dirty, slit on one side but comfortable and I’ve gotten so much wear out of them. They would have been worth the whole $160 if I paid full price for them. Ironic isn’t it? As we cleared the home stretch I was flooded with all these memories and connections and knew today would be a good day to blog. I haven’t blogged in a while as I still deal with the after effects of losing my dear mother who lost her battle with congestive heart failure back in July. It was officially two months on my daughter’s birthday and I didn’t realize that until just now.
Today was a better day than others I’ve had in a while and off and on I have my moments, I often ponder for how much longer will this deep sadness plague me? Something tells me you just learn to manage death and the sadness will always be there but the positive memories begin to overtake the negative ones. I’m thankful to God for good starts like this morning. As well for days that I don’t drown my eyes with tears. Right before we got home from our run this morning, the last stretch included scenery from a bridge on the path we took. It was immediately indicative to me of where I am in this life. At a point I couldn’t see what was ahead unless I kept going but I had to have faith just as I have to everyday that God has a masterplan and will guide me if I trust Him too.
Cheers to trusting God on whatever journey you find yourself on. I once read somewhere that the path is unknown but the victory is certain!
Happy Saturday to you!