savoring the year: running + talking {4/365}

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5:00 AM

Have you ever run a marathon, or fulfilled some other physical goal that pushed you beyond what you had thought you could do? What did you learn from that process?

I have hardly set physical goals for myself that I can recall. I move when I need to and run when I can. Usually a mile or two in after morning devotions and before breakfast on good days.

The majority of my physical exercise comes in the form of chasing children around the house and parks and stores. With a backpack full of water and snacks for three and wearing an 18lb child, the work out comes naturally.

In elementary school, I once did a six minute mile. Not by choice or determination, rather by chance. I starting running our weekly mile with a different friend that day because my usual running partner was home sick. She was the fastest girl in class and a soccer player, not something I had taken in to consideration at the starting point. 

Running was not something I excelled in or cared much for at the time but as we started running I found myself keeping up. My lungs breathing heavy and my feet moving fast. The rest of the class followed behind, my breath lost back with them somewhere. We arrived back the starting point with our time given out. I had never been that fast and my body told me so, as I walked a little light headed and dizzy to the drinking fountain, recovering slowly.

Exercise became a means to deal with stress in junior high and high school. I never minded the running in class and would do laps around my neighborhood, processing life as my feet moved one in front of the other.

Pushups and sit ups worked their way in to a nightly routine, too. Though I hardly recall how.

Running and exercise and life can be determined by speed and accomplishments. How many marathons we have taken part in or races finished or the place earned. It can be by where we graduated from or who we married or how many children we have.

Life can be tied up in keeping up with everyone else's pace. A pace not marked out for us, nor one that will resemble the likeness of how we were created and will leave us feeling heavy and lacking oxygen.

Life is best enjoyed with others surrounding and encouraging the running and goals and God adventures. Life is best enjoyed at our own paces and meeting when our paths cross, not increasing speed to collide.

But when it happens that the feet hit the pavement harder and quicker than they should, here's to walking. To slowing down and enjoying the view and others along the way.

This is part of a 365 day blogging series through Savor by Shauna Niequist. If you would like to blog along, whether daily or weekly, I would love to have you for the journey; be sure to link back to the post. And if you are not a blogger, you can join along, too. Just leave your response and answers in the comments.

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