Jess’ love of running returns, and she sets her sights on the marathon.
The thing about running is you either get it or you don’t. You run or you don’t. For some, like me, it’s the best addiction that life has ever brought you. Running fills my Joy Jar. It let’s me work through all the crazy thoughts in my head; it helps to heal my heart from years of depression. Every time I run — regardless of how painful or difficult — I come out of it a little bit better, a little bit more able to cope with life. The miles pounded out are filled with rage and grief and sorrow — and they open up the door to bliss.
I wish I had taken pictures of myself before I started running so that I could compare. I would love to have a set of photos of me taken in unflattering light, arms and legs spread, dressed just a bikini from one year ago. I haven’t lost a ton of weight, if any. You won’t be seeing me running around in short shorts and a running bra. But, if I had those photos you would see something. You would see that my face and body exude the health and joy that running for a year has given me.
I ran an eight-kilometer race last weekend. It was the hardest race I’ve been in. Distance isn’t as much a marker for difficulty as I thought. Throughout the race, I followed a woman who looked to be in her 70s. She made it look easy. Trailing her brought me so much hope and inspiration. It made me realize I can do this for a long time still; that I don’t have to worry about age; it’s irrelevant.
I have that marathon in my sights now. My body is responding to all the work I’ve been doing to strengthen core areas. I am strong. More importantly, my head and heart are back in. I can hardly wait.
“A Brand New Day” Thomas Hawk @ Flickr.com. Creative Commons. Some Rights Reserved.