Thursday we ran. It was not fun. We were not busting sound barriers while breaking a sweat.
But we were out there. And we did see the sun rising over K-Hill. We “good morning’d” a few other early rising people. I found an unbroken blue egg in the grass by Starbucks. It had its beauty, but it was an inelegant run.
And yet, we persisted.
Some days our jogs about town are fun and full of zip and energy. Many days we laugh. Some days we deserve bacon just for getting out there and starting.
Not every effort counts as a good elegant run. But everyday we start a run, we win. We are out there…together in a world largely lounging; isolated by social networks and political bandying.
Running is not for everyone. Some days it isn’t for us.
The run isn’t the point.
The getting out there into life is the point.
And we all know that life is inelegant, messy, disordered, and finite. We have a short amount of time to live it, to share life, and marry this living with purpose. The hardest to trick to learn is to start.
Maybe we humans could have been McGyvered without the need for rest or exercise, but we weren’t. We need the get-up-and-go. Our endocrine systems need it. Our muscles and minds need it. Our imaginations need both activity and rest to stay sharp.
Perhaps even our compassion needs airing out to stay alive and grow. I don’t know, but I’m going to continue to test that idea, too.
Yesterday, my best friend, Katie, and her daughter, Miss C, ran their first mom-daughter 5K and Miss C’s first ever 5K. I got to join them as a last minute run-pal; to witness their back-and-forth, the modeling of a mom who gets up and goes, and the creative confident growth in a daughter running her first 5K from the start, through 3.1 hilly miles, and around the track once to the finish line.
It was not always fun for Miss C. She had trained with Girls on the Run at school and with her family at home. It was hot and the hills were…hilly and challenging. Yet she persisted.
Then she was asked to take a second lap around the hills to finish the 5K/3.1 miles. She was rewarded by encouraging volunteers, the K-State Band, family and friends cheering; and Willie the WildCat at the Finish line.
We were rewarded by watching Miss C start, then meet the challenges of the landscape, and the messiness of a path which seems to ask for more than what can be done, and the final sprint to the finish. Either Katie and I spontaneously allergied-up at that last dash to the celebratory end or we both cried; privileged to have started, persisted, and run together this race with Miss C.
We can only start where we are. We can only be who we are. We grow, we dream, we navigate an uncertain world with as much chutzpah and love as we cultivate. We are fortunate to cover the field and cross the finish in good company.
It is a messy inelegant worthy business – this living. But we will miss so much if we fail to start…and if we forget to persist – especially when the way is inelegant and hard.
Just start. Here.