This morning I was grumpy.
An unattractive, toxic self-pity that repels human contact.
It was wet outside. Cold.
Irritable. Irritated. Whiny. Grumpy, grumpy, grumpy!
I did, but I didn’t, want to go for a run. Go, not go. Ugh. An emotional tug of war inside me.
Finally, sigh. FINE…I’ll go! (Imagine all the drama of a middle schooler stomping their foot and rolling their eyes when agreeing to do something they absolutely do not want to do– yes, that was me this morning.)
So I put my shoes on, added an extra long-sleeve layer, grabbed my headphones and went out the backdoor. My family, meanwhile, was at the kitchen table, irritatingly happy, enjoying a perfectly quintessential family activity of boardgames on a rainy weekend day. They have plans to bake later. A family baking activity. On a rainy day. Yes, quintessentially perfect.
I stepped outside into the cool air and fumbled longer than necessary with my music. It took me to the end of the street to increase my pace faster than a slow meandering walk.
I am blessed with an incredible amount of running opportunities right outside my house. Trails and nature parks abound in every direction. I could run a different route every day for a month without getting bored. There are a lot of hills, which I enjoy, and I can easily vary the distance depending on the day. It is really fantastic.
Since it had rained that morning, I decided to forgo the trails and stick to pavement. The fortunate thing about turning left onto the sidewalk out of my house, is there is a steep downhill for about 1/4 mile. Turn right at the stop sign and there is another downhill, a little more gradual, but enough to kickstart a little momentum in my legs.
It doesn’t take long for the energy inside of me to begin to shift. I intentionally pulled the headphones out of my ears and mindfully took in the experience. The air was refreshingly crisp and invigorating. The damp earth smelled fragrant and fresh. Water droplets dripped from branches overhead, a light playful sprinkle.
I inhaled the air deep into my lungs. I felt the power of my legs beneath me propelling me forward. I experienced a profound sense of gratitude for the experience – this time last year I was unable to walk.
I transformed over that 5-mile loop.
As I finished my run and sprinted the last 200 meters into my driveway, my family was pulling out in the car.
They were off to the grocery store for baking supplies. Excited voices bubbled up from the car.
“How far did you go mom?”
“Are you tired?”
A high five from my husband.
Love explodes in my heart.
This is everything.
This is why I run.
Not because it is easy. Not because I always want to.
But for the person I become after putting in the work and taking all of those steps.
A better version of myself.
*For a little Middle School attitude humor, click here. This is how I felt before my run today.
This is my life with 4 Middle Schoolers. EVERY DAY. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jsPyNItiC_4