Thursday, March 22, 2012

i run

I am a runner. I admit it's been awhile since I last put sole to pavement. But I still identify as a runner even when I've taken a few months off. (I've woken up to snow and ice the last two mornings in this mountain town. Can you blame me for taking the winter off?)

I don’t remember when I first started running. I was in 7th grade when I first joined a team. My brother ran cross country and I wanted to be like him. My parents had a rule for junior high aged children: participation in a sport was required every season. So it was natural for me to join the cross country team after spending so much time watching my brother run.

I don’t remember a lot about that year. I don’t know what my times were. I don’t remember my first practice. I don’t even remember everyone on the team.

I do remember the candy bars and notes of encouragement Mrs. Anderson would leave in each of our lockers on race day. They always corresponded to the race. Like Rocky Road on a particularly hilly and muddy course. I do remember the one time I came in dead last (who forgets something like that?). But mostly, I remember the piece of paper Mama gave me to slip in my shoe for my first race.

It was just a slip of white paper. Like a fortune found in a cookie. But it didn’t contain advice or promises of good luck. Printed on this paper were the words of Isaiah 40:31.

Those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.

I don’t think it made me run any faster that day. But I’ve had the verse memorized ever since, and it comes to mind at just the right moments. The moments when I know I’m not strong. The moments when I’m simply tired-out. The moments when I can’t see what’s up ahead and I’m not sure I want to keep headed in that direction. The moments when I need hope.

Has someone ever given you words of encouragement that have stuck with you in tough times? 


  1. I love that you remember all the things I've forgotten. So proud of the runner ... and woman that you are.

    1. I know there are more memories that you remember that I've forgotten. Between the two of us we might be able to piece them altogether. The other thing I remember about that year is Dad coming to pick us up from practice and on the way home we'd ask him what was for dinner. We were always ready to eat, eat and eat. I'm never hungry right after a run or a race anymore.

    2. I do remember the hunger thing...

  2. Thanks for the memories; you all made every moment so special.