This is what I see when I leave my driveway for a morning run in late summer--truly a joy-filled moment for me. I love to run toward the sun, whether it's rising or setting. I never grow tired of looking at that big ol' ball of fire hanging in the sky. It is always spectacular.
When I was a little girl, before I knew that I wasn't that coordinated or athletic, I used to run all over my backyard like a Banshee. I set up hurdles before I knew what hurdles were or that there were school teams who ran and jumped hurdles. I used my old kindergarten rest-time mat, picnic table benches, boxes, peony bushes--whatever I could to leap over. I would just run and jump, run and jump. I crashed into fences serving as finishing lines. I ran for the love of it.
I wish that someone had noticed this penchant and encouraged me to keep moving when I hit middle school and fell into that phase of inactivity and passivity to which so many teenage girls succumb. I wish someone at home or at school would have said, "Why don't you try this?" (Any sport).
To be fair, once I made the cheerleading squad, I was all about that. All other interests besides boys paled in comparison.
Still, I wish someone had talked to me about taking care of my body and appreciating what it could do when put to the test, and how good I'd feel when I accomplished a run.
I wish someone had said, "Cheerleading is great, but you can't do that the rest of your life. Tennis, swimming, running or golf, yes."
But that didn't happen, and I didn't discover again that I loved to run until I was about 32. Still, even at that "advanced" age, I was blown away by what my body would do when I asked it to "go to the next mailbox, next stoplight." Simply amazing.
Here I am at 49, still going, albeit slow and plodding. But I never feel more alive than when I'm running.
And there are two things in this life I NEVER grow tired of looking at: the faces of my children, and beautiful Indiana skies. I have so much to be thankful for!