I finally made it a point to run a few hills on Tuesday just so I would feel a bit more mentally and physically prepared for the races at the Runner’s World Half & Festival.
Since I normally just run my usual, flat, neighborhood loop, I drove myself back to my old section of town where the hills are mighty and the memories are many.
When I encountered this sign prior to heading up a hill, I decided it was quite indicative of what I was facing during this run.
Not just the super steep uphill climbing but the memories of what was once my life prior to my divorce.
Some people totally avoid their past. I try not to do that.
While I do not live in the past, I think it’s important to recognize it for what it once was and not avoid certain areas or situations just because of what it may remind you of and how you may feel.
As I ran, I felt all too familiar with the neighborhood.
I took note of the homes that have been renovated and even noticed who installed new front doors and changed the brick patterns on their driveways.
I caught myself in that moment realizing that there was once a time in my life where I actually cared a lot more about doors, bricks, slabs of granite and all that home renovating stuff.
Sure it’s all fun and lovely to decorate and renovate the house BUT buying lots of stuff and making all the renovations certainly does not make a home.
Yes, of course I miss my double wall ovens, my pretty granite counters that never showed a splash from my cup of coffee and the way my son’s room sprawled out large enough to let him play and throw his balls far away from my head.
But at the end of the day, those things do not define true happiness or really make you whole and complete contrary to what society tends to believe.
Cookies are still cookies no matter how many ovens you have. My famous Oatmeal Raisin Chocolate Chip Cookies which I served last night are as good as ever.
As I ran seven strong and hilly miles through my past, I once again realized how bittersweet it is to have grown into this person who can realize happiness for what it really is while simultaneously recognizing some sadness for what once was.
I also wondered how the heck I used to push a stroller up those hills yet ran them as if my legs hadn’t forgotten.
When I tell you this hill is steep and relentless, you need to believe me.
I am not all that technical but MapMyRun offered me this elevation hill chart thing:
I am pretty sure that it’s a steeper climb than the infamous hill at our local Great Cow Harbor 10K which Runner’s World actually ranks as a top 100 race in the country. I ran it two years ago but skipped it last week and last year. I don’t know, I didn’t feel like it.
As I ran, I recalled the strenuous fun of trick or treating in my former hilly neighborhood and our daily morning stroller walks.
I also recalled the mornings where I chose walking over going to the gym or running because the stress in my life was preventing me from moving any faster but I wouldn’t allow it to completely remove me from my routine.
I remembered the walks that were so super slow because I was recovering from the Shingles virus (brought on by stress they told me) which zapped my energy for months but didn’t zap my desire to be happy, keep moving and feel like myself again.
I just never gave up.
I have always been an optimist with no time or patience for negativity. While I believe in both luck and karma, I stronger believe in the power of your own inner strength to get you through life’s ups and downs.
Same applies to running up and down hills. Of course you need to build up to it but if you never try, if you constantly make excuses or believe you are too weak, you will never be able to do it.
Society has gotten really good at sweating the small stuff and then throwing a pity party for what they don’t have which spirals into a total woe is me rather than wow look at what I’ve got.
The glass should always be seen as half full instead of half empty. Except for the coffee cup. Lately mine is never full enough.
Be sure to check out what everyone else is thinking about today!
Do you have your own special dessert recipe that everyone loves?
Running hills – like it, tolerate it or dread it?
How many cups of coffee do you drink in a day?