Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Girl, you sure can Run

My brother Jefferson, yours truly and my sister Lady
in front of our childhood home in Brasil. 
That life changing run happened in 1989. I was an overweight 9-year old trying to get to my uncle's house. He lived a block away from us and we often walked there. My siblings went ahead of me so I took that familiar walk by myself. I heard a dog barking on my left and I immediately became fearful. The barks increased and the dog came after me in full speed. I started running towards my uncle's house as fast as I could. The dog got really close to my flying skirt but he never bit me. I could hear the neighborhood kids laughing at me but the loudest sound I heard was of my own conscience telling me 'girl, you sure can run.'

As a teenager I saw my dad turn into a weekend warrior. Every Saturday he would put on his black converse shoes and he would jog around 10 miles. We were all amazed at his new found fitness habit. Dad's simple act of lacing up his shoes and jogging left a lasting impression on me that whispered 'gir, you sure can run.'

Marriage brought into a lot of changes in my life. My healthy habits were neglected for quite a bit and I suffered greatly. As I surfaced from the deep waters of self-hatred I noticed a lot of runners around me. I began to walk around Lake Junaluska, N.C. where robust senior citizens zoomed past me in their running shoes. In the midst of the dust, I thought about my own future and how running could get me to a healthier place. When the lake dust settled down an old, serene thought arose telling me 'girl, you sure can run.'  

These Good Thought Patterns had been present in my life for 18 years. My past, present and future are an indication that running makes sense for me. Whether a ferocious dog or my father's example led me to it, running was there to help me face a conflict and brought change into my life. When I face my fears, I run. When I'm in the midst of the dust my ancestors left during their run in life, I keep running. Because of my father's example I keep running but most of all, I run because of that nagging little voice that keeps telling me in every season of life, 'girl, you sure can run.' 

"Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us..." Hebrews 12:1

• To read about the training for my first Marathon, please click here

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