So today I decided to run. Yeah, yeah I know you don't want to hear about my run. Believe me, I read all the jabs on Facebook about what everyone's personal pet peeve is. You know some can't stand the people who post about their work outs all the time, or the ones who take pictures of their food or the selfie-crazed people, or the ones who post about their kids all the time. Or they can't stand the ones who talk about God all the time or the ones who talk about going out to the club every day. I don't let it work me up either way. There is no need to delete, I just keep scrolling down to the next post. The truth is I am guilty of every single one except the selfies. I am not that talented to take a picture of myself.
So again, I begin with the fact that today I decided to run. I haven't really ran in several months. It is so frustrating that a while back I was running three and four times a week and was feeling pretty darn good about myself. I swore I would never get back to this point. You know the point where you feel sloth like. The point where you have no motivation but to eat the Snickers candy in your purse that your son gave you to hold on to for him. You know that point where you know your pants are fitting a little too uncomfortably. But as usual, I let life get in the way and can tell you a ton of excuses. We are busy! I hate to work out in the cold. I hate gyms!! I would rather work out outside. I need Bryan to do it with me and hold me accountable. Bryan had surgery a while back and it got me off track. I need to cook dinner. You feel me??
But today the boys were out doing their sports thing and the weather was perfect so I put my gear on and headed to the park. It felt good to have my IPOD back on and listen to some of my favorite songs. Since I hadn't run in forever and my GPS watch was not charged, I thought I would track my running and walking combo by the songs I was listening to. So I would walk a whole song and then run a whole song. That was a brilliant idea until GNR's "Paradise City" came on and I had to run for 6 minutes and 46 seconds. That may not seem like a lot to you but when you haven't ran in a while every second counts. And then of course my walking song was Cash's "Ring of Fire" which was like a little over 2 minutes. Can I just be honest? I just have a bad case of the I-don't-wanna's!
However the more I ran around the park the more I paused to watch people. There was so much going on there tonight. I saw mom's having some girl time while they watched their kids play. I saw dad's and mom's in work clothes coming to pick up baseball uniforms. I saw cute little four year old's practicing throwing and catching. I saw some older people walking slowly together and just enjoying the weather. There was a lady walking her dog and a mom giving her kid some bread so he could feed the birds. There were a couple of young men fishing. Then I had to pass up a mom with her toddler next to her who was screaming to go to the playground but she was trying to work out and so he had to stay beside her. She was trying and that is what matters. I don't know if she was a single mom or not but I have always had a special spot in my heart for single moms. I guess it is because I know how hard it is to be a mom even with your husband's help much less doing it on your own. It was in the moment that I passed her that I thought, man I shouldn't have any excuses. Even though I have been in her shoes, I no longer have little ones that I have to bring with me to work out. I am just tired and have a lack of motivation.
And that's when all of these faces started appearing in my head. I thought about a little boy just like my Bo who is battling cancer and probably would give anything to run and jump on that playground and have all the energy in the world. His mom would probably trade places with him in a heartbeat if she could. I thought about my friend who will begin chemo treatments soon and how she is going to fight! I thought of how she is going to be thankful just to have the strength to continue being a mom and a teacher and a wife. I thought about my mom who wants so badly to experience what it feels like to feel completely normal when she wakes up in the morning. I thought about one of my single mom friends who has had every obstacle put in her way recently and is just desperate for some answers to prayers. I thought about my friend who made a commitment to her son to run at least one 5K a month and has stuck to it in the midst of her busy lifestyle. I thought about my Dad who still rides a bicycle to work every morning despite his diabetes. He has been riding that bike ever since he was a teenager riding to my mom's house trying to date her.
I can't sit here and say that there won't be days like this again. Next week school is back in session and all of my excuses will flood my brain again and escape my mouth. But man I love times like this where I get some perspective. The day started out overcast but out came the sun midway through the day. I say it all the time that the sun reminds me that there are brighter days ahead. I know there will be the I-wanna days and the I-don't-wanna days. I pray that I will never forget those faces and that each time they flood my head it will make me want to keep going. Those faces will be my reminder that every person matters. Those faces tell a story. Everyone battles something but I believe that with each new sunrise comes a new opportunity to get up and perservere. I may not be running each and every day but I know my feet will hit the ground the very next morning. May my steps be guided by the Lord each day! May He use me to tell a story, a story that is inspiring and makes people say I-wanna!