I Run On

My commitment to running has lasted longer than I was married, longer than I was a mother, and longer than any job I have held.  Though at one time I was quite fast and I enjoyed some of the benefits I received by being a faster runner, running to me is life.  It is as simple as this.  If I can lace up my running shoes and pound the pavement even for a few minutes, a few steps, I know that all is well.  I intuitively know that no matter how dark I feel or life seems, running will bring a spark of hope and a spark of joy. 

 

Through the years, I have found myself with running.  I will never be the prettiest, the smartest, the thinnest, or even the fastest.  It doesn’t matter.  Through the miles and through the meditations of my  beating heart, I have discovered I am enough.  Enough for me.

 

When I was  37, I had a major health crisis that cost me every bit of talent I ever had.  I went from being able to whip out 6 minute miles in a marathon to running 9 minute miles in the course of three weeks.  I never got back the speed.  I tried at first.  I did smart running with no junk miles, but when the day came and I could only run a half mile before I could no longer run, I knew that my competitive days were over.  It was then that I discovered one simple tenet—if I could run even a few steps, I was alive and there was something to live for.  While it took me 15 years to regain my health, and though I must still deal with a non-functioning adrenal system, I can run.

 

I can run a lot.  I can’t race.  I can run and it is in the running that I find joy.  When Phil was assassinated, I never thought I would feel again.  I was numb and heart broken.  The first day I felt something, it was on a beautiful summer day in Colorado.  Somewhere in the miles, the mountain air infused my lungs and sparked the will to want to go on.  As I ran on, I processed  my broken heart, discovered who I was without my Phil, and I developed a fire that blazes still to make a difference  for military families every where.

 

I run even when others do not understand.  I invest in running because when I do, I invest in myself and in my future.  It is as simple as committing to races, lacing up those running shoes, and forcing myself out the door.  In that simplicity, tomorrow is found.  In tomorrow, I find my hope, my future, myself without my Phil.  I will run on until I no longer can.  I will run even when I am too slow, too heavy, too old, too anything.  I will run because running is me and I am running.  See you on the roads!

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