I went for a run yesterday. It had been two weeks since my last real run. I tried to run after kickboxing last week and it did not go well. I could barely finish a lap on my normal loop. It was so frustrating and defeating. I had no good reason for taking a week off from exercise and it showed up when I tried to resume my normal activities.
So when I laced up my sneakers and got outside, I started with no expectations. I would take what my body gave me, even if it meant walking more than running. I would just be grateful for the opportunity to be out there.
What my body gave me was everything and then some. I pounded out three miles feeling good and strong and powerful, only walking about three of the 35 minutes. I felt so good I went for another mile. Four miles, after no real run in two weeks!
I felt so good. I remembered why I run. I didn't get that elusive runner's high people talk about, but I came darn close. I had my music on shuffle and mostly left it alone, only skipping a couple of slow songs. I prayed for friends who needed it. I thought about things I want to write.
I gave myself permission to struggle, to slow down if needed, to just accept what was.
(smooth segue here)
I pretty much failed at Lent this year. I forgot and broke the Friday fast more than once. I reduced my online time during the day somewhat, but I didn't replace it with anything more intentional. I feel like our days were no different than any regular days. We didn't do the family Rosary I said we would. We didn't go to Stations.
I've been beating myself up about this, internally. Comparing myself to others, comparing myself to myself and past, more successful observances. And while Lent is supposed to be a time of reflection and sacrifice, I'm pretty sure Christ didn't die so that I could wallow in my failures.
He gives me permission to struggle, to slow down, to accept what is.