"You are not a model, but a role model"
A few weeks ago I was out on a long walk with a couple of young dears in my life. I expressed my struggle with finding the time to exercise, that thirty minutes a day should be easy. As we huffed and puffed up Vista Hill in downtown Portland I shared my struggles with "me" kind of time. One sweet gal stated the quote above, and began sharing with me things she saw in my life, and the other gal echoed her words. I listened and squeezed them both, as they put into perspective some things that I admit needed to hear.
Did you get that I was huffing and puffing up a hill while briskly walking? Walking and investing time into the lives of others, and getting some exercise in while doing so. An hour of walking total. A couple of days later, walking briskly behind boys riding bikes at their new favorite spot, and then walking a small loop several times with a neighbor as she shares her heart. I do love getting out and walking, playing tennis, and a jog along the river with a friend, but I am not a jump into shoes, and run for exercise.
I have felt in the past month that those times I disappear on a treadmill should be wonderful and joyous accomplishments. Nope just boring time and calories clicking on a machine. I have thought way to much on this running thing, and I have had to take a few steps back when I was having a serious health issue that kept me from running for two weeks, then each day facing the guilt of not running. Guilt because I so boldly stepped out and made my intentions public and now I realize that in a huge way this is a failure in the area of running.
My investments in this season are the time I spend with my family, others, and giving up an evening when I thought I might run to hear the heart of a young gal who struggles in her walk with Christ. I LOVE that our church has stepped out to encourage the ladies to recognize that "You are not our own, You were bought with a price." I love listening and hearing the success stories of running, distance building, and even the bling of new shoes. I was a serious runner in a different season of my life. A season when my evenings were my own. A season when my mornings were my own, and in those quiet times of running and knowing that I was not taking away from another it was joyous and wonderful.
Am I giving up on running? Absolutely not. Those days will be days when no one is around, and I am not having to juggle what to do with little sillies, and I can run along the waterfront with a dear friend, and so what if we land in a coffee shop or stop for a beer along the way. Health is important and we value that in our home, and I appreciate those who can do this life with lots of running, you have me running behind with love and support. And truly I can be that person at the finish line with the camera, holding all the bags, and smiling over your success in running. In the next season of my life I may be there with you.
I know that my lack of distance building, daily runs is actually not a failure. I am not really failing. I am making a choice different than that of a marathon runner. It's okay. I am smiling and I hope you are too. Love and Blessings, Elizabeth