One spring day we found ourselves under the budding trees of Hawk Island. Wearing a blue hooded sweatshirt, black track pants and my old running shoes she began. As I glanced down at my watch and marked the seconds I knew this was the start of something bigger than both of us. This was the start of my mom’s commitment to running and more importantly herself.
That was one year ago today and I couldn’t be more proud of just how far she’s come. My mom's competed in two 5k races and weathered the summer heat, windy fall, and bitter winter. I know she will credit me for helping her get started, but I can't take credit for anything past marking that first minute. It is her strength alone that has carried her to today.
My mom quickly became aware of the love/hate relationship that runners feel toward their sport and a few months ago she asked me if it ever gets easy. Without even giving the question much thought I replied with a simple, “No.” Though the answer came easily, the question remained on my mind. If it never gets easy why do I continue to literally pound the pavement?
I run because with each step I take, though never easy, it does get easier. I know I will never perfect the art of running, but that doesn't discourage my attempt to. In this and so many ways running has provided me with a model for life. It has taught me that the best way to move forward is to have one foot on the ground while the other kicks toward the heavens. It has taught me that impossibilities are simply unmet goals and that sometimes pain truly is a prerequisite to joy.
Oh, and as I continue on the journey of discovering who I am, running helps me get there just a bit faster.
|Mary Katherine - Runner of the Year|