Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Turns out: Running is bad for your knees.

As is common in our household, we are traveling once again. Last night we drove to Atlanta and are staying in a Country Inn and Suites so that Theo can attend a conference. The blessing of homeschooling is that we packed up school and brought it with us. And we'll squeeze in some field trips along the way.

I love going on trips and getting the lay of the land. One of my favorite things to do is to run in a new place. But the wifi connection in our room is spotty so I couldn't do Google Earth last night. But the night clerk did tell Theo that the road in front of our hotel is well lit and pretty safe as it goes past business parks. Since I couldn't map out a course to find out my mileage last night, I decided I'd try the treadmill this morning. That would be an adventure too, as I've never run on a treadmill before.

I got up to run at 6 so Theo could be with the kids till I came back. I went downstairs and found the sign on the fitness room read "Open 8am-8pm". Aha, new road it is. I decided I'd just run about 20-25 minutes and then turn around. I'd map my run later in the day.

I was glad I went outside. The temperature was a gorgeous 55 degrees. I turned on my Ipod and hit the sidewalk. About two minutes later I really hit the sidewalk. I didn't even feel myself tripping, but I did feel myself flying through the air and then landing on my hands and knees. I felt miserable. My hands and knees stung and I decided I was finished and turned to walk back to the hotel.

I walked a block and then a song came on my Ipod that said, "The God of Peace will soon crush Satan underneath your feet." And I thought of all that God had accomplished in my life in the last year and how I've been struggling to get back in the running groove after my recent cold. I also thought of my son who looks for any excuse to stop trying anything when it is even slightly difficult.

We've learned that John's fear of heights while climbing Mountains is a pretty big hurdle but if we give in to that fear and allow him to give up... within weeks he is afraid to walk across the house on his own. Fear takes on a life of its own. Strike that. Fear takes YOUR life for its own. I will not do what I won't allow my son to do. Fear and pain will not take the joy of running from me. I was merely stinging on my skin and pride from a minor fall. Grace settled in my heart and pushed back and said, "This road is yours and this run is yours. Make it happen."

So I gritted my teeth, upped my IPOD volume and watched sidewalk seams diligently as I trod the territory Grace laid at my feet. It was a good run. It was a statement. I ran for twenty minutes and found an auto parts store to be an ironic/symbolic place to turn around. I felt stronger and happier as I approached the hotel.

As I ran, I could feel that my hands were newly texturized but not bleeding. I figured my knees were in the same condition. I was hardly stinging anymore and chided myself for considering stopping when there wasn't even really any blood. I stopped at the parking lot and bent over in the universal post-run crouch where you grab your breath and saw my knees.

They were more than texturized. They were ground beef. I had semi-dried blood running down my legs. What seemed pretty wimpy earlier made me feel pretty hard core now. My Dad would say I had some pretty good war wounds. War wounds plus 40 more minutes of running equals victory. And that feels good.

I grabbed the camera as I planned this very blog entry and told Theo I wanted a picture of my knees. Of course, he asked me what happened. I told him that I run so fast that sometimes the wind splits my skin open. He knew I was okay because I still had a sense of humor.

And tomorrow I will continue to stand my ground as I take these sore, stiff, cracked knees back out again. Fear won't stand still so I can't afford to either. I'm running this race as if to win.


Carissa said...

As Murray would say, "Oh dear!".
I haven't read all the post yet, but the pic and labels say a lot.
I'll try to read everything in between during lunch....

Carissa said...

awesome!! It's so good to see you blogging again, and sharing your life stories, which are God's stories.