Running for me started as an answer to prayer. Strange, I know. Feeling completely overwhelmed with life, I had stolen away for a couple of uninterrupted hours in the canyons. I had been praying to know how to feel more balance and peace in my life. I had not been praying to know how to feel more healthy or more in shape. But the answer was very clear. The thought would not leave-I knew I needed to start running. Years later, I would wrestle with the temptation to question that answer.
I asked the girls consistently if they wanted to run with me. Maybe it was the time of day or maybe it was me, but they were borderline hostile in their response. Running was nowhere on their agenda. I love that we can always change our agenda.
I didn't start out "running" exactly. It was more like walking briskly mixed with a couple of jogging bursts. Little by little, my body caught up with what my mind wanted to do. Years later, I knew I was ready to attempt a "race." The Salt Lake Marathon was 9 months away and, usually a solitary runner, I joined a nephew in pursuing that goal.
And scleroderma raised her ugly head.
Knees and hips began to throb and ache. Hands stung and ached in the cold regardless of how many layers I heaped upon myself. Running was no longer my friend. In fact, it wasn't even an acquaintance. I have never run since.
Somewhere along the road since then, both girls have picked up where I left off and taken running to the next level. They are consistent and focused and determined. They also seem to love it.
Individually, they both set a goal to run a half-marathon and signed up with friends and roommates to make the dream come true. Gradually, the friends dropped out for various reasons and in the weeks leading up to the race, the sisters were comparing training schedules, routes, and injuries. The goal they had set for themselves personally had suddenly become a "team" event. In my mind, there could be no better team.
Race day was perfect. Jordan and Gabe and I waited at the nine mile mark and then the finish line to cheer on our team. As I saw them come around the corner glowing with sweat and exhilaration I tried to hide my face from my family. The wave of pride in my girls was overwhelming. Of course they would have to know I would cry. And not for a minute out of sadness for what my body would no longer accomplish. But for the absolute thrill of seeing what grit, determination and effort combined with my daughter's healthy bodies could accomplish. Sky's the limit, girlies.