Thursday night, I spent time with my older sister. When we met up, she had just finished a run. Hearing her talk about it, how much it helped her and made her feel better, encouraged me to tie my shoe laces again.
Friday morning I told my Momma I was heading out of the house for a walk. After stretching on the back porch and finding the right playlist, I started jogging down our chirt-rock driveway.
My little brother said, “Momma, Leejoy and runnin’.”
“Do you think she came across a snake?”
“No, I think she’s just joggin,” was the little guy’s reply.
Had you been running with me and asked me how I was doing, you would have known it was the first time in over a year since I had ran when I didn’t answer you. When I run, just the distance of our driveway, remembering to breathe is about all I can do as I pass one rock at a time.
The first part of the driveway goes downhill. It’s so kind. The next section is in the shade. Hooray! And the last section, the wide curve that feels as long as the Mississippi with no trees seems to think it’s always a good idea to tell to take a rest early. I don’t know how the driveway can talk, but it does.
Being out of breathe with my shorts riding up, my lungs want to stop and the voices in my head seem to think it’s a good idea, too. I think the sun drinks a protein shake in between my laps. It gets bigger each time around and pulls the oxygen out of the air. The little sneaks in my head think it’s a fun game to tell me I’m way too out of shape for this, that I should stop. But I have to shut them up. I have to remind myself that I would never through those loaded harpoons at my best friends, so why do it to myself?
The music keeps playing. Rock after rock goes under my feet. The breeze quite. I’ve passed the shade. And I can hear my runner-sisters cheering me on because I know they would if our tennis shoes were side by side eating the same dust.
It happens with every lap. At that curve. I have to put handcuffs on the boxing gloves that I point at myself and hold hands with the encouragement I know I have been given.
Sister, brother, I hope that while you run, work, walk, sit, eat, drive, read, learn, you don’t tell yourself you will never be good enough at what you are doing. I pray you have people who will shoot fireworks for you and your 15-minute mile and meet you at the finish line with sweet tea in a Mason jar. You are worth every spark and cheer because you were knit together by the Creator, God, and Savior of the universe and He loves you and wants you to know Him, love Him, and accept how much He loves you.