Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Keep Going

I'm gonna die.

My knees are heavy.

It's unpleasant to breathe.

I can't do this.


I can do this.

The rain moistened my face and curled the straying hairs. I sucked in the damp air; aching, deep, piercing breaths. The gravel made it's crunching noise while I struggled - reminding me of a crucible of some sort.

Two in through the nose, two out through the mouth.

My eyes hurt.

I can't make it.

I can.

I can't make it.

I can.

I continued to waver as I  reflected back on the previous 3/4 of a mile. She had pulled me out of the house, in the rain to jog. After eating pizza, too. (The healthy egg-version, albeit.)

 "I'll cramp!" - I said.

Oh, well. So there I went. Wearing a too-big rain coat and complaining all the way to the trail. She laughed. (I guess I just have that affect on people.)

I'd done it before. I knew how it was. It was no picnic. At all.

"The bench...the bench...the're almost there."

I closed my eyes. It was easier that way; in the dark all I felt was myself going up and down...lightly...gracefully...painlessly...breathe...breathe...

And I nearly ran right into Kara. So much for that.

"Go to the next bench," she said, pointing optimistically.

I rolled my eyes at her. "You gotta be kidding me."

She grinned. "If you get to the bench I'll make you some tea."

"Oh...tea." I panted aloud,  "And we have cream, too! I requested it when Mom went shopping."

"Very good," replies the voice of fitness itself. She's still grinning.

Tea. I can do it for tea.

But it was a long way down there: To the curve, around the curve, down the hill, past the goal post, around that eternity of a fence...past the pond...all the way over there...

But I could do it for tea.

I was sure I could.

And I did; gasping, closing my eyes (between segments of making sure I didn't jog right off the path), telling myself I was almost there, promising, subconsciously, that it would be closer by the next time I opened my eyes...there it was. Closer...closer....any minute now...and I flopped onto the sturdy, steady, still bench.

I had made it.

I panted s'more. Kara paced around in a circle s'more. And, after somewhere around three minutes, the next goal was decided on. And I protested...and I agreed.

But it was too hard.

I ran.

It hurt.

My head ached.

What was that...that weird swelling behind my eyes...

And I suddenly realized something.

I'm going to cry.

I thought to myself; "I ought to keep running until I collapse of exhaustion...then they'll know how terribly hard this is..." But I kept going.

The breath swelled, expanded...ached in my throat.

 My knees felt like ten-pound weights. Made out of lead. Marbled with iron.

I stopped.

And I sat down.

And I grabbed my knees.

And then I lay down completely in the wet grass and watched the clouds overhead.

How peaceful.

And she stood over me; laughing, clicking pictures with my phone. (After she reached down to fumble in my pocket for it.) But it was all in good fun.

Now, as I try to think of a good way to wind up this story and encourage somebody, I have a better idea. What object lessons do you think could come out of this story? Fun or serious, I don't care - this jogging session was a mix of both.

(No. That's not me - Kara took a few similar pictures though. :P  The only difference is the long skirt, weather,  rain-jacket and braid .)


Grace said...

You are far braver than I, I am afraid! I've considered jogging, but always managed to talk myself out of it, convincing myself that walking will be sufficient. Ha! One day, hopefully I'll get there, lol. Are you going to Believers Youth Camp this year?

Anna said...


YEEESSS!!! Will you be there? If so, I hope we end up in the same dorm! Can't wait for B.Y.C. - I'm expecting awesome things from the Lord.

Oh, walking is good for you, too. It's my favorite kind of exercise, and (if you walk fast enough) it's probably just as good as jogging. (As far as getting your heart rate up etc.)

Grace said...

Trust me, I feel so out of shape sometimes I think strolling would get my heart rate up!! I really want to go to B.Y.C. this year...I'm praying that the Lord will make a way for me to be able to go. I've seen and heard great things about this camp. I went once but I was only ten and I haven't gone back. But now I'm feeling led to go. I need to draw closer to the Lord, and I REALLY need to meet some good, Godly girl friends. Lol! Those seem rather hard to find sometimes. If I get to go, I definitely hope we get in the same dorm!

B E T H A N Y // said...

Anna, you're so brave! I can't even run around the house before I decide it's time for a staggering walk to the house. :)

(And Kara - good work on the subtle bribing of the big sisters, it's a very delicate art. *winks*)

Anonymous said...

Just read your blog, Anna, and I laughed so hard. As the old saying goes, "any hard journey begins with just one easy step." It doesn't tell you how you may struggle, sweat or cry before the journey is finished. Always keep your eyes on the victory at the end of the journey, or even the first easy step may look too hard. love ya! Mamaw

Anna said...

You ladies are so encouraging. lol:) Thank you all.

@ Grace - I'll be praying, too! I know how it is.