This morning I woke up. Just woke up. Not to my alarm clock; not to a crying baby, or a little girl wanting cartoons; not to my husband's phone ringing; not with a panicked feeling that I over slept. I simply woke up and looked over at the clock. 7:45am.
I walked out of my room (ok, so it's the guest bedroom at my parents house, but for the next week it's mine...all mine) and ran into my Mom who exclaimed, "she's alive!" geez Mom, it's 7:45am, not noon! She had already fed the girls breakfast, got them dressed, and they were both playing outside with my Dad. I was hoping to wake up at 7 to go for a run, but was thinking I would give it up since it was already too late. My Mom didn't even ask me when she said she wouldn't be running with me but I would have plenty of time to make it back for the farmers market, and if I needed her to she could make me some toast. Just like that, I went back in my room and put my running clothes on. The mere idea that I was going to skip my run was crazy to my Mom. I was here to relax and recharge, and a good run was what I needed. And no one knows that better than her.
I gave the girls a kiss good-bye, turned on my Garmin, and headed down their long driveway to start my 6 mile run. My parents live on the outskirts of a small town in Oregon, back in the hills. It is absolutely gorgeous, but the run I was heading on this morning was a bit hilly. And let's be honest...I am used to running at sea level so any bit of elevation is a shock to my system. My Mom walked down with me to get a picture, proof that I did actually go for at least one run while I was here! No matter how old I get, she is still photographing every triumph in my life. Nothing is too small for a Mommy.
Within 3 steps I am already climbing a huge hill, and as I crest the top, I seriously consider turning right around. It was a bit rough! But, luckily the long downhill gave me a break and I knew I could push through. As my run went on, I started paying attention to how often I was going downhill, anticipating what I would be up against on my way back. It seemed like a lot of downhill. So much so that I didn't enjoy any of the downhills on the way out. I found myself excited with every uphill, even though they were exhausting, because I knew it would give me a break on the way back.
As I dropped down the last big hill at the turnround point down by the Rogue River, I stopped my Garmin and took a minute to reflect by the water.
It felt so freeing to be able to head out of the house without a second thought to go for a run. To not have to worry about rushing home, to be able to enjoy every moment and relax. My life has been so exhausting lately, that being able to disconnect and be alone felt amazing. I wanted to stay at the river a bit longer, and think about my life, but Lady Gaga came blaring on my iPod and I knew I had a 1/2mile hill to run up...so I was ready to go!
As I headed back out, prepared for a ton of hills, I was surprisingly shocked at how much downhill I really had in front of me. I was so worried as I headed out of what I had to face on the way back that I threw it waaaaaay out of proportion. I was so busy worrying about how hard the uphill would be on the way back, I didn't enjoy the downhill when it was in front of me.
As I powered up the last hill, and coasted down to my parents gate, there were my girls, waiting with my Mom to welcome me home. It became very clear to me at that moment that my run, as per usual, directly reflected my life. That I am so busy looking 10 steps ahead that I forget to enjoy what is right in front of me.
I got big hugs, and flashed my Mom my Garmin so she could see my pace. She smiled at me and said, "oh, I know! I figured you were running that pace, and I figured you would stop at the river for a few, so I think I timed it pretty well." And that she did. She knew from the get go that I needed this run, that I needed some time to myself, and that I needed to run hard. A run to remind me to live in the moment a little more. How my Mom knows that...I don't know. But she does. And that is exactly why I am here, at my parents house, for my vacation.
It feels good to be back.