My favorite neighborhood running route takes me by 6 churches in under 3 miles, including the beautiful Cathedral of Saint Paul.
My current favorite running remix includes a song with the following lyrics:
(I’m blessed) Oh hey
(I’m blessed) I’m blessed
(I’m blessed) So blessed [2x]
On Saturday morning, I nearly cried* as the airhorn marked the start of a 10K I was running– my longest distance since the marathon and my first 10K.
So, I guess I could no longer ignore the nagging feeling that I needed to write about what a blessing running has been for me. The signs couldn’t have been much more obvious. And in fairness, I have been thinking about it on my runs lately– how so lucky I am to do this.
I am blessed to have my health and the physical ability to run. I do not (yet) have the ability to run very fast, but I can work on it.
I am blessed to live in a neighborhood that is safe for runners. It is easy to cross the street safely, there are sidewalks everywhere, drivers are aware of pedestrians (and cyclists). I am blessed to live a neighborhood that is beautiful for runners. Summit Hill is well known for its lovely homes, gorgeous gardens, and the churches I mentioned earlier ring bells of welcome for all Sunday morning runners. Dog-walkers, kids on bikes, and runners co-mingle peacefully and happily in my neighborhood.
I am blessed that my life is free of major stresses and that allows me the time and freedom to run.
I am blessed to have a family that cheers my triumphs and pushes me through the hard days. I am blessed to have friends that run with me and celebrate all of my facebook updates and tweets about running. I am blessed to have Aaron, who stood in the rain to see me amongst thousands of runners on Saturday.
I am blessed to have access to good medical care so that small and large injuries can be prevented and/or treated and do not mean an end to an active lifestyle.
I am blessed to be a member of a great running community in the Twin Cities. On Saturday, some people finished the 10K in less than 40 minutes. Some of us finished around an hour. Some took over 2 hours. But when it started to sleet over the Lake Street Bridge or we reached the tough hill near Univ. of Saint Thomas, it felt like a team effort. There was lots of “You’ve got this!” and “It is literally downhill after this.” When a runner went down, no fewer than 15 other runners stopped for her while 2 busted it out to get to a police officer 4 blocks ahead. I am proud to be a member of this community.
For me, when I get about 2 miles into a run and I really hit my stride, that is the time I feel most connected the world– in a physical and spiritual sense. It is where I do most of my deep thinking (2nd only to the shower!) and where the simplicity of the act of running highlights all that I am given. As an extrovert to my bones, it is one of the few solitary activities I really completely love. I wish for everyone to find an activity or a place that gives them that same feeling.
I am so blessed to run.
*Aaron read this and chortled because he thinks I “nearly cry” about everything. He is nearly correct.