Today I looked back in my blog journal to see what was going on last year at this time. I had just started writing my first blog and was still finding my legs, so to speak. It was July and we had just begun the 100+ temperatures, which would become known as the hottest summer on record. I also began running again, even in the heat. I read what I wrote at that time, which can be found in the following link:
It was obvious that I was struggling both with my out of shape legs, which had not known this type of physical activity in nearly 20 years, and with the heat. I was determined that if I could run in that heat, I could run in anything if I didn’t kill me first; I was nearly correct. I made it all the way to December of last year before getting extremely ill with the respiratory illness that was going around. I had been increasing my mileage each week up to that point until I was able to run 10 miles on my long run. It was a far cry from the days when I trained for marathons, taking in an 18 or 20 miler on the long days. Yet, along the way, my body had become healthier. I felt better and had more endurance which certainly helped on those long nights at work; I work the night shift. Sleep is too often sacrificed in order to keep up the daily schedule my life creates. Yet, the more I got in shape, the further sleep I did get seemed to go. In other words, my recovery rate also increased.
Lately, I’ve been running with my daughter who is trying to get in shape for her attempt to run cross country this year. Today, she was still mourning the loss of another cat, so I was on my own. I went out for a couple miles, just to stretch my legs and wound up running four instead. It just felt too good to stop. It was still in the mid 90’s temperature-wise, yet I had now been running off and on for a year and my legs are now in much better shape than last July. Now when I go run, I don’t think about dying and the pain; I’m once again free to allow my mind to wander and take in the scenery while thoughts randomly pop in and out of my consciousness. Sometimes I find myself writing verses to songs, chapters to my book’s sequel, or just making plans for an upcoming event. Either way, it’s a freedom of thought, to become one with nature, to experience the feeling of movement without thought of doing so.
I now enjoy running once more.
I now get to experience on a personal level the world around us. This past week alone I saw two majestic bucks, antlers in full velvet; the likes of which I had never seen in pictures or in person. I’ve seen beautiful butterflies float in the sunshine, with the azure blue sky for a background. I’ve been escorted by Red Tail hawks as they cross my path, two and fro, looking for prey far below. I’ve seen neon green caterpillars, so bizarre in color that they appear man-made. Then there are the forests themselves, the full bounty of a summer rich with long deep rains. The leaves so full, they appear to pull the canopy down with the weight of their abundance. Yes, the humid warm air might be uncomfortable on the surface but inside, the lungs are enriched by the comforting fullness filling every tiny brachium with oxygen and life.
Yes, I’m enjoying my runs once more.
Last year at this time I didn’t know if that would ever be possible to run pain free ever again. I still have a long way to go. I’m not in the best shape I could be in. I lost a lot of ground after stopping when I got sick last December. It took a while before I got started again. Yet, I now know that all it takes is consistency and patience; two things age teaches you very quickly.
Some things in life we can never go back too, nor would we want too, but sometimes, with the blessing of the Lord, we are able to once again achieve that level, physical or mental, we once knew; this is feeling is greater than any earthly reward.
Here’s a question for you: What is something that you’ve neglected for some time and then gone back to and either regained your former level of ability or was able to raise above that level?
I liked the scripture that I used in the previous blog so much that I included it here again. Enjoy,
“I have seen something else under the sun: The race is not to the swift or the battle to the strong, nor does food come to the wise or wealth to the brilliant or favor to the learned; but time and chance happen to them all.” – Ecclesiastes 9:11