So this morning, if dawn had a furry little hiney crack that resembled a nasty plumber's crack you never wanna see -- yeah, that is when I got up to go do my half-marathon. (REMINDER: I HAD NO INTENTION OF RUNNING THE WHOLE THING) No, it wasn't even the hairy hiney crack of dawn, it truly was just the slap middle of the night.
Because of the nature of our half-marathon, (I hesitate to use the phrase "rag-tag" because we are a serious group of men and women training just as hard as the next group -- but our start time was voted on by our training group, so it wasn't your typical half- marathon) we started SUPER early. No one wants to start a half-marathon at sun-up in July in West Texas.
HOWEVER, the Lord was gracious to us and gave us amazingly cool temperatures for the weekend, and we even were dry for most of the race (I started at 4:30 a.m. wearing a sun visor to keep the mist out of my eyes).
About a mile and a half in, I think I pulled a muscle or something in my calf. I couldn't tell what was going on with it, so I tried to stretch it out, walk it out, stretch some more, etc. Whatever, I was in pain. Thought about quitting. Thought about crying. Did. Kept walking. Stretched again. Did something that resembled running inside my head, maybe shuffling if you were to drive by. Kept walking. Lots of walking. A little shuffling.
So I got to 13.1 miles in such a fashion. It was NOT pretty.
So... where does gratitude come in? I'll be honest... not there. Not for me. Yeah, yeah, I should be grateful I could do it. I should be grateful for all the training I have completed, and I should be grateful for all -- and there are SCADS -- the people who have encouraged me, either by their words, or by their actions of their workouts, etc. But I was annoyed. Today did not go how I wanted and I still hurt.
Gratitude came in the form of my scheduled massage. I'm sure that's a no-brainer, but go with me. First she worked on my calf and that made me want to cry more. But then she worked on my feet. Knowing that I had done the half-marathon, she spent a LOT of time on my feet -- time on each little individual toe. And with each little individual toe, I was more grateful for the healthy body that I do have. With each toe that she rubbed -- oh, yes, ma'am, she got to each little tiny toe, the bones underneath and all the pads, I'm tellin' ya..-- I thought of how many different parts of my body had to work right for me to ever train for this, much less take it on.
Earlier this week my back tightened up on me and I thought I would miss it -- you can't walk 13 miles if you can't walk across the room upright. I stretched and hot tubbed and stretched some more until my back was ready to go. (We shan't discuss right now whether or not I SHOULD have missed it... Oye...)
So, I am still hurting, yet grateful for the opportunity to hurt. Grateful the Lord gave me this healthy body. Grateful that God allows me to plan and scheme different ways to not listen to it. Grateful that He even has a plan for it to heal when I don't listen to it.
And, I continue to be grateful for the community of people that helped train and encourage and cheer and prod. That is truly how it all started and, more importantly, how it all got done.
Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it. 1 Corinthians 12:27