The Sun Also Rises

jello 2

Photo by John Curley

I’m halfway through week 2 of the 8-week Couch to 5K program now, and some interesting things are happening.

On my run/walk yesterday, I started out feeling like I couldn’t get enough air, but by the second running interval, I was feeling a bit better. And by the time I got to my final running interval, something amazing had happened. I actually felt, well…good. Like my body was working with me for once instead of against me.

It might be the only time in my life I can ever remember thinking that.

I’m not sure when I began subscribing to the belief that my body didn’t work like others, but I know it began sometime in my childhood and didn’t let go even when I played sports in junior high, or that one month or two in high school when I ran a mile every morning before school. I quit every activity I started, still hanging onto the excuse that my body wasn’t meant for the type of physical activity I had attempted.

Perhaps because academics came so easily to me, I never really learned that even if I was terrible at something to start, I could actually get better if I kept trying. Joe was always good at believing in himself, and that was a huge part of the inspiration I needed to get moving. But I also need to mention someone else who has inspired me – my husband. He’s been great at showing me that working at it is worthwhile. For example, less than 2 years ago I decided I wanted to learn to crochet, but after the first couple of attempts to make my first swatch, I was feeling discouraged and considering quitting. But David found a way to make me feel like it was no big deal that I hadn’t gotten it, yet, and convinced me to give it just a little more effort. I did, and now I’m crocheting baby hats, booties and blankets and have also taught myself to knit. And he’s been so supportive of my efforts at the gym, too. I don’t say it enough, but I’m so thankful to have a partner in life who is truly on my side.

So, back to my point. Joey’s death still feels like the blackest night of my life. I felt nearly destroyed emotionally and spiritually as I attempted to figure out what to make of this change in reality. As the dust began to settle, I found that living my life better was the best and really only way for me to go on in a world without my brother. And for the last 9 months, I’ve been slowly gathering the tools I needed to re-shape myself. As I completed my run yesterday, I realized that these months of preparation were necessary to get my life turned in another direction. And as I looked out the YMCA windows and saw the sun shining down on a cool but clear morning, my heart recognized that my sunrise is on the horizon. The path I’m on will take me to my first 5k race, and my 2nd, and my 3rd, and to the place where I begin to identify myself as a runner. The journey isn’t over, but I’m so happy to be running it.

Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning… (Ps. 30:5)

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