Every fall I get the urge to run. Maybe the cooler weather breathes life back into everything and makes me want to feel my heart pound, but it usually only lasts for one run. Maybe two. Because then I suddenly remember that running’s no joke. Everything bounces and jiggles and my nose runs and my legs itch and my chest hurts from trying to catch enough oxygen to keep me from keeling over. My shoelaces are too tight, my dog keeps stopping to pee on everything, and it’s a lot windier than I thought.
Let me just say I’m not a runner. I’ve tried to be for as long as I can remember. I signed up for a half marathon 6 years ago or so, but I ended up hurting my knee during another race and I couldn’t run it. I’ve had that “runner’s high” exactly one time in my life. My husband is one of those people who can sit and eat Cheetos 364 days a year and then run a marathon on the 365th with absolutely no training. So annoying. I skip a day and have to start back at day one.
Needless to say, the running urge hit strong last week with the appearance of fall in Oklahoma. I tried to ignore it, even tried other workouts in it’s place, but nothing worked. So one night I tucked my 10 year old into bed and asked him if he wanted to run with me in the morning. He replied with an enthusiastic, “I guess so” and a nice, exasperated sigh.
And so we ran. Probably not even a mile. And my feet hurt and I couldn’t breathe and the wind picked up right towards the end just like it always does. But this time, I pushed myself because my son was with me.
You see, this sweet boy of mine seems to have inherited his mother’s lack of perseverance. Something gets hard or uncomfortable and he gives up, just like me.
It’s funny what our kids can teach us about ourselves.
We pushed through it and whooped and high-fived in the driveway early on a Sunday morning. Then we talked about pushing ourselves to be better and recognizing our weaknesses and working to overcome them. We talked about how some things won’t always come easy for us, but that doesn’t mean we can’t try or that we have to give up.
My son reminded me that I can do hard things and that there’s grace to be found in the stretching and the growing and the trying. While I was trying to teach him to never give up, I guess I was teaching myself the same thing.