Thursday, September 22, 2011

the 2nd mile

Tonight I went on a run. Whenever I run longer distances, I find a common theme; the 2nd mile is always one of the roughest for me. I'm not sure why, it's just always been a tough mile.

And when you run, you think, well I think. I think about life, about work, about friends, about whether that car is going to stop or if I'm going to have to make a sprint for it...oh wait, yeah, about life... And so I'm always running, and thinking, when that dang 2nd mile creeps up on me! The first mile I'm excited to be out running, I'm going fast, eager to hit my stride and really get into my run, but then....that 2nd mile... I go into it strong, but that's when exhaustion seems to hit, discouragement hits. I know where I'm going...and that's where I want to be! I want to be done; I'm tired, I'm sweaty, I've been going too fast, way past my good steady pace, I'm thinking "what is wrong with me? I can't run, I don't like I home yet?" (It's probably a good think that I run a big loop that is more than 2 miles because, were I not miles from home, I would probably just stop then and there)

It hit me right then, though, how this 2nd mile just might make a nice life analogy right now. And so the thinking resumed...

So, if life is a 5 mile run, I'm totally in my 2nd mile right now (the first mile is age 0-20, each mile = 20yrs, etc, follow?)Sometimes it feels like I'm in a holding pattern; tired, ready to move on, waiting for...well, just waiting.
and sometimes, life starts to feel a little 2nd mileish. I feel like I know where I'm going in life, and yet...sometimes...I wish I could just get there! Know what I mean?

But you know what, my run almost always gets better. I know that if I just push through that 2nd mile, I'm going to love it again. I'm going to love the journey, I'm going to stop thinking about walking back through my door and collapsing and really enjoy the pavement beneath my feet, the breath in my lungs, the wind in my hair.

And when I think about it that way... the 2nd mile's not really that bad...I mean, it's got a nice down-hill portion, I pass that cute little creek with the birds... The 2nd mile is a challenge, but maybe that's the most important part of a run. You think?

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Those that never knew

"Where were you on 9/11?" Everyone asks that. They say you'll always remember. I was in middle school. Yeah, middle school. It seems strange to me. How can such a strong memory of such a notorious day come from the same years that have been termed the most awkward and immature time in anyone's life? But, just as everyone has that strong memory, I have mine, from the awkward halls of your typical middle school.

I won't bore you with too many specifics; you can imagine how it went: kid in school, finds out what happens, don't know what to do with it, teachers don't know what to do with it or us, so we all proceed to deal with various strange, spur of the moment, emotional, and sometimes inappropriate ways until we get home and start all over again with our families. 

I found out as a burnt out and, especially that morning, frustrated homeroom teacher yelled at us to be quiet because "somebody died". She turned around to yell at us again, after flipping channels to find the one she was told to change to, and was shortly greeted with a silence that she rarely received from that class. I'll never forget the look on her face as she turned back to face the TV at witch we all stared. We had just finished processing that the smoking building on the screen was in fact in our country, not a movie, on a live news channel, and, taking all these things into account, actually happening when the news camera we were watching caught the second plane crashing into tower 2.

I remember thinking, oddly enough, not in the emotional, often teary manner I am prone to, about the events of the day. Sure, I felt for those missing family members and friends, I was deeply saddened by what had happened, and I, with as much attention a pre-teen could muster, feared for where our country would head from this day. I was and still am, thinking back, surprised by what I ended up thinking about days later. The people that lost their lives that day; the victims whose lives were taken, the rescue workers who gave theirs in attempts to save others, never got an explanation. We speculated that day, we talked about what may have gone on, who may have done it, but we didn't really know; and that was us on the calm and not disastrous side of the television. The people that day...they never knew. No one told them why they had to die. They never heard the explanations, the long drawn out reasoning, or even the conspiracy theories! That bothered me.

Among the many many hundreds of things that were so wrong about that day, this seems like it might just need to be included. I don't know where, if anywhere, I'm going with's just a thought. A thought that little, awkward, excessive amounts of hairspray using, middle school me had...and one that I couldn't quite ignore yesterday either.

For those that served and continue to today, I am thankful. For those that lost and are still, I'm sure, hurting today, I pray. And for those that never knew why this had to happen, I'll always remember.