I'll blame it on the fact I'm forty. Maybe this is just what my personal mid-life crisis is going to look like. Whatever, I'm going to make some changes in my universe.
Melanie: She wrote a very significant "confession" about her weight. She's a relatively thin woman, but struggles with blaming other sources for her condition. Her thoughts on paper kept coming back to me concerning how I view myself and the excuses I've made in my own life about "upbringing" or "genetics". In our religious belief system, our bodies are supposed to be temples, places where the Holy Spirit actually lives, but I'm treating mine less like a holy place and more like an amusement park.
Julia, not Roberts: She has absolutely no idea that she's inspiring me at all. J and her girls are training together toward a 10K run. She's set a goal to participate in the Vulcan run this year. I think she'll do it too. How does this impact my universe? Having enormous boobs really did make it impossible to run. (You doubt me? Stuff a 7 lb baby in your bra and try to jog somewhere. Not happening.) Once the swelling goes down, I'm not going to have that excuse anymore. I might actually like running somewhere if I tried it. I might get to experience that symphony she described. And I really want to hear it.
Greg: Same day I read Julia's notes on facebook, Greg the Pastor (who doesn't know Julia), posted asking if anyone had ever used the Couch to 5K program. Huh. That's odd. (If you Believe, that's the Holy Spirit. If you don't, it's a coincidence.) Julia was just talking about that very program in her quest for Vulcan. Googled info. I actually read the whole website and secretly, furtively, quietly contemplated these truths in my heart.
Jessica: Clever, funny girl who is built like a gazelle. Her body has been hand crafted by God, made specifically to eat pavement. She loves to run. She is passionate about the act. She is inspired by the movement and feet pounding the ground, and it's abundantly clear in her language. She wrote in her blog about running along Bourbon Street in New Orleans, and I wondered what that would feel like. Smelling the city come to life, feet beating out a tattoo on concrete, arms pumping, air pushing, burning, moving in time to something bigger than yourself. Yeah, I wonder what that would be like.
My Daddy: The Husband and I are going to travel as much as humanly possible in the next several years. We're going to Alaska in September and to St. Martin next spring. My father is taking us on both of these trips as a most generous gift, and I know he's already daydreaming and planning and scheming where he's taking our family in 2012. I want to zip line and float plane and hike to the falls. I want to run in a forest older than time. I want to ride a bicycle and walk through towns and climb to the highest viewing point on the island. I want to pound down the beach like a living, breathing, sweating cliche.
Sales Clerk at the Dress Barn: I grabbed three formals in what I thought was my size. The sales lady said that she thought I was way overshooting my actual size and then brought me a dress I never in this lifetime would have tried on W.B.C. (With Bob and Chuck). She asked me to humor her and to try it on. She was right. I've gone down two dress sizes in eight weeks, and I rocked an empire waist for the first time in my life. I did a little five-second dance party in the changing room. She doesn't know it, but the sales clerk prompted me to arrive 30 minutes early to aerobics class so that I could do a warm up walk. I walked and sweat and ached and imagined what else I might fit into this time next year. Tomorrow when the alarm goes off and the kids leave for school, I wonder if I'll hit the snooze or if I'll head down to the gym. I hope I'll walk and run a little between the second marks.
Julia Roberts, actress: She may be eating her way across Asia in some sort of self-gratifying journey of inner discovery (loosely called entertainment in the movie industry), but in Randolph I am on a Radical Lifestyle Reevaluation that's going to involve less consumption on every single level. Less food, less fat, less excuse making, less whining, less just for the sake of less. Perhaps it's time to quit focusing so much on our inner search. It's unhealthy to believe that you are the center of your own universe, endlessly contemplating your own cosmos and the people rotating around you. Then I start thinking that I'm throwing away my opportunities in a similar fashion. What if I passionately applied myself to everything I set my mind to instead of wandering around aimlessly year after year? What if I just decided and made it so? What if I just did it? One step at a time.
Ladies Bible Study and Sonja: Where we are reading and studying the book Sonja reviewed at the WMU conference last month. Life Unhindered by Jennifer Kennedy Dean. The book is based on two key verses, Hebrews 12:1-2. Read it. You'll get it.
The Husband: Who, knowing all of this information far before any of you are privy to it, still offers me a Reece's Cup every single night at bedtime when he has his snack, not because he's trying to sabotage me or to be ugly by temping me, but because he's saying that he loves me exactly the way that I am for my insides, not my outsides. I wish that all of you are loved that same way at least once in life. It somehow matters that he doesn't care if I run or not. It matters a lot. It matters the most.
I'm not exactly ready to commit to a 10K, because that large of a goal seems completely out of my reach, but I have a lot to ponder about the temple of the Holy Ghost and what I'm going to do about preserving it to the best of my ability. God speaks to us through all sorts of mediums, so I guess what I'm really saying is, I hear You, Lord, and I'm finally ready if You are.
Hebrews 12:1-2 The Race of Faith
1 Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2 looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.