Setting Records, Silence, Gratitude, and Fred


The past week has been a time for setting records.  My Garmin cheerfully tells me that I have set a new record for most steps in a week, most steps in a day, and farthest distance run.  My body is agreeing, and letting me know that it isn’t used to this stuff.  Yesterday was a new distance, ONLY an extra 8 and I will be at the marathon distance.  Next week will bring me even closer.  I am still embarrassingly naïve about this sports stuff.  Somehow, in my simple mind, I didn’t think training runs would hurt quite so much.  I mean, it’s not like a race – just covering the distance, right?  I was rather upset to discover that I was the proud owner of blood blisters on my toes. I was sharing my outrage with my daughter, only to be cheerfully informed – “just wait until your marathon Mom, I totally trashed my feet on my first one”!  At least she offered some constructive suggestions to get them to heal before next week’s long run.  And she reassured me that the training stuff hurts just as much as the real deal.  Yippee, yeah, and oh, boy I can’t wait…..

One of my running heroes and inspirations was featured in a newspaper article.  I learned that he never listens to music while running.  I decided to give that a try yesterday.  Kudos to you, Jeff.  I could only tolerate my own thoughts for 12 miles.  I had to turn my music on.  12 miles of your own thoughts are scary as hell, and way more intense than I was prepared for.  We won’t discuss those 12 miles – the details are ugly.  I have the utmost respect for runners, and those running without music are at the top of the list.  So why am I doing this?  I considered this yesterday for a couple miles.  I decided it will take more time to figure this out, so I’ll just continue running until I understand it.

Gratitude.  I should be more grateful for all the blessings I have.  This morning as I was trying to walk upright without putting pressure on my feet, and without waddling like a pregnant woman that is a month overdue, I realized that instead of grumbling, I should be grateful I was able to actually move myself that far and that long yesterday.  At church, there were even more reminders.  When I walked into the sanctuary to put my Bible and purse down so I could help Mom before the service, the pianist was playing “Love Lifted Me”.  I could literally feel loving arms around me, and the warm presence of an all-encompassing love.  Wonderful feelings of gratitude, hope, and appreciation enveloped me.  God is pretty amazing about pointing out “little” things when I need it.

Fred.  At the beginning of my last 4 miles yesterday, I found Fred.  He was minding his own business, and by the looks of him, about ready to start his journey to transform into a chrysalis.  Mom likes to raise Monarchs, and set them free in her lovely garden.  We haven’t found any “cats” for the past couple years, so when I spotted Fred, I knew he was going on a road trip.  God conveniently placed an empty Gatorade bottle next to Fred.  I crammed some milkweed leaves into the bottle, and a stick, and inserted Fred.  I offered a quick prayer of thanks followed by the request that Fred would survive the remaining 4 miles of the run.  I’m pretty sure that after having his brains rattled for 4 miles, Fred is really looking forward to leaving the caterpillar life behind…and it looks like he will be doing that soon.  I know there is a lesson here, it is painfully (pun intended) obvious.  Apparently it’s time for me to give up being a caterpillar (again)…and I should be grateful that we are given numerous opportunities to transition from caterpillar to butterfly in our lives – Fred only gets one shot.

Lessons learned:  mileage is mileage, hurts whether you call it training or “for real”, gratitude is an inside attitude job, and I need to be a whole lot more brave to run silent than I am right now.  I think I’ll start building my playlist for the marathon….and watch Fred show me how it’s done.


One thought on “Setting Records, Silence, Gratitude, and Fred”

  1. Well Betty, you are truly an inspiration to many of us. I know that Fred, will love your mom’s garden. What a beautiful place he will have to spread his wings.


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