Sunday, May 3, 2015

Walking the Race

I think this is my life - I am walking the race.  Not running - but walking, sometimes stumbling, meandering, but moving.  That is me.

It is easy for me to look at walking the race I walked yesterday - the Cap City Marathon and see the ways in which I keep learning about the bigger walk of my life - the journey of faith.

This was the third time I have walked the quarter marathon.  And it was probably the most fun.  Marnie and her sister Audrey had signed up to run the half marathon and life got in the way.  Audrey was unable to train for it and had to drop out.  So, Marnie invited me and Kim Veatch to join her Friday night at the Holiday Inn downtown.  And it was a wonderful beginning.  Eventually our group included Addie, Reagan and Erik that stayed together in two rooms.  We got downtown through terrible traffic on Friday and were able to enjoy a fun and leisurely dinner.  That evening Marnie, Kim,. Erik and I walked downtown and saw the set up for the race and the walked around the empty Commons.  It was so peaceful and really got me in the mood. 

What I keep learning is how much better my life is now that I have time to have breathing space between EVENTS in my life.  This year I did not have to rush down on Saturday morning and go to an engagement Saturday afternoon and be preparing a sermon for Sunday morning.  I feel like I have breathing space for the first time in my life and staying downtown ahead of time is just an example of that.

We only had to walk 4 blocks to the event itself and it is quite an event.  There were 14000 walkers and runners for this race and we were in corral J.  Kim and I waited in the throng for each of the groups to go.  It was noisy and full of announcements, music and people.  The energy of this race is just undescribable.  But finally we were off.
Kim and I keep much the same pace.  And we both said that we probably would not do this without a companion.  I know that finding someone who does not walk too slow or too fast is pretty wonderful. And it is certainly true for the spiritual walk - our companions can be so important to help us to keep moving.  One of the blessings for me with Kim was that she always saw my family (Erik, Reagan and Addie) cheering for us from the sidelines before I did.  And that too, is one of the gifts of spiritual friendships - one who sees what you do not see right away.

It is fun to see the other walkers in their attire and the signs of the cheering people along the way.  i took a picture of this T shirt because I felt like it expressed how it is for us walkers.  It says: "Looks like walking, feels like running."  Nobody knows that the individual is going through on their journey.

Finally, what will keep me coming back is not the cheering of the crowd but the inner satisfaction that I had because I DID IT!  I hadn't realized until I was halfway along how much I really want to be a 66 year old woman who keeps doing quarter marathons.  That is my identity when I do it!  I have an inner athlete who doesn't come out enough because I am too sedentary.  But this reminds me that the journey - both physical and spiritual - is not about what we think but about what we do.

So yesterday I was satisfied and tired and actually took a nap in the afternoon.  It is good.  All good.
This journey of life. 

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