Saturday, April 7, 2012

Running Into the Sun

I have a love/hate relationship with running.

I like the way I feel after I've done it but I don't really enjoy doing it.
I like the shoes but not the shorts.
I like that at a lot of races they hand out beer afterwards.

I fully understand the benefits of regular running, and I see how great my runner friends look, but I still struggle with motivating myself to do it.

When I got up this morning after sleeping in late, I opened up Facebook. The top-most post was a picture of four women who'd just completed a 5K run. Good grief, I thought, I've only made it downstairs and they've already competed in athletic pursuits. One of the women in the photo is a good friend of mine, let's call her Fancy.

Fancy has been through a lot health-wise, more than most women her age. And she's done it all while raising her young kids and maintaining a seriously busy career. She's the type of person who looks at the life cards she's dealt, plays them as best she can despite sometimes ominous odds, and impressively keeps winning the game.

Her most recent medical episode involved a pretty serious surgery, which went well. But during her recovery she developed pneumonia. And then a pulmonary embolism, which can be fatal if not caught and treated immediately. Because of this, Fancy suffered a pulmonary infarction: tissue death of a portion of her right lung. Through quick action and modern medicine, Fancy survived, and a mere two weeks later was able to throw her husband a big 40th birthday party. This lady doesn't slow down for nuthin'.

So when I saw her pictured at the finish line of a foot race, I was more than happy, more than impressed. I was motivated. If Fancy can do it six months after cheating death, with only 1-1/2 lungs...I can surely do it with two. Let's run!

From Jackson Browne's Running on Empty:

Everyone I know, everywhere I go
People need some reason to believe
I don't know about anyone but me
If it takes all night, that'll be all right
If I can get you to smile before I leave

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