Today is Monday, September 15, 2014. I’m spending a few days in Wellfleet, Massachusetts with my husband and his mother. I’ve been in training for a half marathon for the past few months, and am following a training schedule where every run has a purpose. Speed, distance, hill drills, and short quick runs all serve to get me ready to run 13.1 miles.
I started my run this morning with a specific training goal but somewhere in the first mile I stopped thinking about pace time, heart rate and how far I needed to run. I realized that today I was running with a different purpose. Today I ran because I could.
This summer has been a time of lessons for me. Lessons that have made me appreciate my body and all that it’s capable of doing. I’ve watched the people I run with deal with injuries, extreme heat, family health issues and self doubt. Each one has shown me what it means to have dedication and a goal. They’ve shown me how important a supportive community is and how much pleasure is gained when we share our stories and dreams.
This summer I’ve watched my mother struggle with the pain of arthritis, unable to use her hands and feet to do the most basic of daily tasks. My once active father is unable to walk very far as diabetic neuropathy gives him intense pain in his feet. I see my mother-in-law bewildered and anxious as she loses her memories and her physical strength. Through their struggles I see how silly it is to fret over wrinkles, graying hair and aging skin. My body and my mind are strong, flexible and capable of accomplishing everything I ask of them.
This summer I watched a beautiful woman, a friend and fellow runner, deal with a devastating cancer diagnosis with grace and strength. She lost her battle with cancer last week. Today I ran thinking of Heather, who loved to run and was unable to for so many months.
Today I ran because I can.