I've never 'loved' running. I remember in high school dreading our conditioning days during volleyball season. I hated that pukey feeling I got after each workout. I thought people who joined the cross country team were a little nuts because who could find running 'fun'? Who would choose to go run 5 or 10 miles just for the heck of it? Well, I believe I have officially become that 'crazy' person.
It has been so nice to check out of life for awhile. We were in Lincoln City, Oregon last week with Jake's family. I loved seeing the ocean every day and even made time to run while we were there. I got in about 20 miles last week. Now these next two weeks the kids and I are at my parent's house while I get ready for my 10-year reunion. It's been great spending time with my parents and seeing old friends. (The only bad part about this week is Emma and Josh both got pink eye, but with antibiotics they are getting better.)
So I have had an interesting realization since I've been here. Tuesday morning I went for a run in an area I know very well. As I ran on this familiar street, I realized I was seeing everything so differently than I did just 10 years ago. I can't tell you how many times I sped through this street in my parents' toyota tercel. Not once do I remember slowing down and looking around at the beauty that surrounded me. Just two miles from my parents' house there are open roads and farmland, apple orchards, dairy farms. It's incredible, like out of a storybook. I don't think as an 18-year old I ever cared enough to slow down and enjoy life. I'm not going to lie, when I come back home for a visit I always feel a broad range of emotions, a lot of them good and some not so good. My last memories of living here are not great ones. I left for college on a bad note with my parents and a lot of my friends. I was so lost. I wonder if I had seen these roads for what they really were 10 years ago, my life might have been very different. Who knows. I'm just thankful that now I can see the beauty around me and recognize it for what it is. This morning I ran down a dirt road, past some apple orchards, a wheat field, and a dairy farm. I could smell the cows and hay. The weather was perfect. There was a slight breeze, but not cold enough to be uncomfortable. It was just right. The only sound I could hear was the sound of the rocks crunching under my feet (and my iPod bud in one ear... can't live without my music!) I realized this morning that when I run, I run for me. It's my only time to be selfish and take a break from life for an hour or two. I have no mask to wear, nothing to hide. I can think about whatever I want and not get interrupted, or I don't have to think about anything at all. It doesn't matter. I find myself falling in love... falling in love with Oregon, and running, and life. It's that good.
(PS The picture was taken from my cell this morning on my run. It doesn't do the scenery justice, but at least you get a small taste of the heaven I'm experiencing here. Also, I know this post is a tad cheesy. I just have had such a hard time these past couple weeks, that these runs have taken me by surprise. Tender mercies... that's what this is.)
I'm a strong-willed woman, wife, mom of three, LDS, U of U grad, runner, gymnastics fanatic, card maker, piano player, slightly OCD, singer, chocolate lover, office manager, cancer survivor, and friend. I started this blog to keep in touch with family and friends, and it slowly turned into my own personal therapeutic outlet. Nothing better than typing out your thoughts, trying to make sense of life.