I ran a 5k today (that’s 3.1 miles for you non-runners). I haven’t run in a couple months, and I haven’t run a 5k since before the Chicago Marathon in 2002. I thought my lungs were going to explode or that I might just drop right to the ground. I was amazed, however, at what I was able to accomplish just to finish. The body is a miraculous thing. Every time I run, I am in awe of the human body and how perfectly we were formed.
Anyway, during the race, people were passing me left and right. I don’t know where they came from because I was toward the back of the running pack I thought! Finally, I came up on two young women who had slowed to a walk. I gleefully passed them, only to have them jogging past me again. I groaned, “Oh, come on! I finally passed someone.” They retorted that I had motivated them. I guess they didn’t want an “old lady” passing them up. Thankfully, I had the last laugh. I had another chance to catch them, just two minutes from the finish (which was all up hill by the way! Who does that?). I wasn’t gonna let them leave me in the dust this time! My lungs were burning right through my chest and my legs weak as rubber by then. But I was determined to stay with them, so I picked it up just enough to cross the finish line seconds in front of them. Ah, it felt good! I thanked them afterward for motivating me! Without them, I never would have finished at exactly 31 minutes. Yikes, I am getting old.
But I was there for a good reason, to support Kara Wherry and her two little ones. Her husband–a runner–died while they were on vacation in Texas this summer, and the event served as a fundraiser for the family and a memorial to him. For that reason, I was happy to put my body through the pain and torture. And, now that I am done, I can look back and feel good physically and emotionally about it … right after a Saturday afternoon snooze.
“I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” Psalm 139:14