Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Reflective run

I live in a historic southern city with a big federally landmarked military park. I have never been there since I got here, though they have had races, events there and tons of parents I know go running or walking there. 
There's a relatively short race coming up and if I want to train, I can only run so far through my neighborhood, so I ventured over there. It's beautiful and huge with monuments and cannons every few feet. I opted for the 3 mile run, and aimed to work up to the longer ones. Well, despite attempting to remember the map in my head, I took the wrong road and ended up covering nearly 10 miles. The runners high can only get you so far, then you start wondering "when is this three miles going to end?"
The park has some serious terrain, hills and turns all over, so this turned out to be a run/walk for me and I'm pretty beat! 

So with life's mishaps, I ask myself, "what is this trying to teach me?" 

Physically, I was tired, my glucose ran out and I was tapping into my glycogen reserves. I could use a drink and a carb. I was also uncertain about when I was going to see the starting house again. I surmised that my lesson was empathy. As I acknowledged my hunger, thirst, fatigue and uncertainty, I passed the monument of a fallen leader, a troop surrender, a brotherhood of soldiers. What must they have been feeling? I chose to run there that day and give my body an intentional and manageable stress, but the whole reason for the park to exist is because these soldiers were put through so much more, worse and longer circumstances, and uncertainty. I am not feeling guilt for my symptoms, but I believe there was no better way to come to a place of empathy with something from decades ago but to acknowledge just a piece of that they went through, unexpectedly, but ironically in this setting. 

Here's to a scenic, reflective, and exhasting run through empathy!

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