My shoes have been calling.
They usually stay in the foyer, bright and perky… ready for a good long run.
After awhile, their perky eagerness started to make me feel guilty so I moved them into the closet.
They’ve been whimpering away in there for weeks. I’m pretty sure they know I can hear them.
Today as I fumbled in the back of the closet to retrieve them, I’m sure I heard a mix of cheers and a few snide comments of: ‘It’s about time!’ They’re very needy, my shoes.
It is foreign to me how I can love something so painful. I haven’t been running since the Run for Water on May 29th, and before the race I hadn’t run since April. That’s a bad track record. And yet the moment I step out on the pavement and start running, I can’t figure out why I’d ever stop. Why I’d ever not run.
I had some very illogical reasons not to run. I’ve been creeping up on a significant milestone in my weight loss journey since January (good grief, that’s six months already!), emotionally unable to push past it and get my eating back on track. With the help of a friend I’ve managed to sort through some of the Fat Girl baggage to at least get my food on the straight and narrow, but my head kept convincing me I could only focus on one thing at a time.
You’re eating right. Forget the running. That can come later.
Except that I miss it. I physically crave the sensation of freedom that courses through me when my feet hit the pavement. I miss the cathartic pleasure of a run after a long day of work where my brain is forced to focus only on the rhythm of the body, the relaxation of shoulders, the deep draw and push of the lungs and the determined set of a chin looking up and forward. The whole rest of the world falls away, and it is simply me, the road, and this incredible vista of possibility. Can I run farther? Faster? Stronger? It is exhilarating to realize that I can.
Perhaps the next time my head tries to convince me to leave the running for later, I’ll draw on the feeling my heart gets when I break through another barrier. Or maybe I’ll just remind myself of all the things I believe about myself when I’m running… that I’m strong, confident, free, capable; things I haven’t always believed about myself but can accept without effort on the open road.
I’m beginning to think God designed me to be a runner. Maybe that sounds hokey, but think about it: why else would a Fat Girl long to run her whole life and find such an amazing thing when she actually could? I’m pretty sure that kind of awesomeness only comes from God.
Healing is an amazing, amazing thing.
Hang in there, shoes. You’ll be begging for a break soon enough.