With Rebecca & Carol after finishing the race
This last weekend was the 5K race that I signed up for back in January. My friends Carol and Rebecca joined me in the fun, and our families were there to cheer us on. When asked if I was ready for the race two days prior to the event, my response was, "At this point in time, it is what it is." I knew that I wouldn't be able to run the whole thing--in fact, I wondered just how much of it I could run. My physical capacity to do what was easy three years ago has been seriously compromised by pregnancy, a slow postpartum weight loss, and my own dumb choices. Did I run the whole thing? No. But I'm happy to report that I finished in a much faster time than I anticipated.
By the end of the race my energy was pretty much spent, the alternation between running and walking much more frequent. Although there were still plenty of people behind me, I knew that I was the last of my group to finish the race. I approached the stadium and willed myself to pick up speed for the final home stretch, the goal within sight. And there stood my husband and son, my friends, cheering me on. A little burst of adrenaline energy and I crossed the finish line. Time: 37 minutes and 26 seconds--just under a 12 minute mile.
All things considered, I have to give myself credit for the progress that I have made over the last 4 months. Back in January I couldn't pull myself up to a sitting position when laying down--I didn't have the stomach muscles. I can do sit ups now. I couldn't hoist myself up on the counter, my favorite spot for sitting in the kitchen. No longer a problem. Twenty minutes of walking at a moderate pace on the treadmill was more than enough, and my knees ached when I braved a minute or two of running. Shedding ten pounds has considerably lightened the load I'm carrying and I can run for longer (albeit still short) periods of time. I'm a work in progress.
Looking at it from a broader perspective, we're all running the race of life. And it's not about who crosses the finish line first, or who has the best time. It's about determination. It's about consistency. It's about having the courage to keep moving forward even when it's hard. It's about getting back on your feet when you falter. It's about finishing the race that you started and being able to say, as did Paul in the New Testament, "I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith."