“If you have so much energy, come and help me hoe this field!” The farmer’s white cap shook as he laughed. I smiled and politely called out, “Nein, danke.”

One minute people are cheering for you as you cross the finish line, the next you are joke fodder for farmers.

It is back to the world of dirt and mops and scrubby brushes. It is back to being teacher, nurse, cook, diplomat, judge, jury, and cleaning lady. It is back to carving out time for training. Yet, no matter how weary I get hearing cries of “Mama!” while I’m in the bathroom, I wouldn’t trade this life for any of the glitz, glam, or bling of this world.

Life is not always a breezy downhill slope. Sometimes you fight against the wind.

Running helps.

It takes patience to wait for a six year-old to tie her shoes when you should be on the road already. It takes a calm mom to hear all sides of a story. It takes an energetic mom to clean the house. Running helps me achieve these things.

Because of the half-marathon, I have learned by simply shifting my weight forward a bit, I can run faster and more efficiently. It is a little harder, but the more I run this way, the easier it will become.

After all, maintaining comfort is not always best. Taking chances, working hard, and striving towards a higher goal may lead to something greater than you could imagine.

If you want more energy, then run when you’re tired. If you want to be patient and calm, then run when you’re stressed. If you feel hemmed in on all sides, then run alone. If you feel alone, then run, and talk to God about it.

“Oh, Keri, you are crazy!” exclaimed my landlady, as I reached the house after Tuesday’s run.

Maybe I am. But then again, maybe there is method in it.

Running is not about trophies or accolades or even about earning the respect of farmers: it is about clawing your way out of your comfortable box and seeing what kind of “you” emerges.

To not run would be madness.

Stats:

Miles: Monday 0, Tuesday 3, Wednesday 6

Weather: Tuesday it was cool & cloudy when I began and hot & sunny when I finished. Today was long-sleeved shirt weather with winds that tried to keep me from returning home.

Music: because the wind prevented my normal appreciation of nature sounds, Superchick, Casting Crowns, and Jack Johnson were my companions today.

Wildlife: a few out of control birds, one rabbit, a beleaguered butterfly, and two tractors.

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