Creation is like a message written on things, a story told in symbol, a source of conversation for our souls…Loving nature, conversing with nature, is not something extraneous to our love for God; it is part of it, an essential ingredient…Not to look at nature, not to love it to the full, is to refuse to read a document God has specifically composed for us in His love. -Carlo Carretto
People inspire me on a daily basis. Working in the health and fitness industry, every person has something that they are battling and trying to overcome. All in hope to improve themselves, their health, their wellbeing. I am reminded daily how blessed I am. I have my health and a healthy family. What more could I possibly ask for? I am able to wake up in the morning and go for a run, teach a fitness class, and then coach others in ways to improve their physical being. I’ve worked with others who have a hard time staying positive, believing that they are in control and are able to create change in their life. I see firsthand how strengthening the body, strengthens the mind. Believing and achieving. It is an amazing process to have experienced and to witness in others.
I don’t take a single day for granted. Sometimes people ask me what think about when I run long distances…and I tell them that I think about EVERYTHING! I think mostly about my loved ones, I pray for them (and sometimes for myself if I’m struggling!), I analyze what is going right in my life and what I can do better, I take in the beauty around me and know that it will never be repeated and that I will never be this young again and so I better enjoy it while I can! I try not to think about what might be hurting…and sometimes that is not an easy thing and I’ve had plenty of moments where I question my need for doing “this”! Running gives me time with me and sometimes we have a lot of sorting out to do… and usually by the end of a run, it may not be perfectly solved, but I feel better…about everything! And you know what? When you have a little attitude adjustment or change in perspective…things don’t seem so bad after all!
The one person who has inspired me for my whole life, is my mother! She typed up and gave me the quote at the top of this page because it made her think of me! What a sweet thing to do and to express! My mom is hard-working, positive, and always up for trying something new…with a lot of enthusiasm! I am lucky that she works out with me twice a week and is always willing to give my latest workout “toy” or bright idea a try and she’s always striving to get better at it! She inspires all who have worked out with her, too! She is proof that age is meaningless when it comes to fitness and that you can do pretty much anything you set your mind to doing! Oh, and did I mention she is an ageless 81?
She recently wrote me a beautiful letter about how much she has grown up loving the outdoors and appreciates the beauty of creation in the same way that I do. (Something she must have passed along to me!) In the letter, she recalls sleeping outside as a child and looking up at the stars and how they would move throughout the night and then disappear behind the brightness of the sun as it prepared to rise up over the horizon. She appreciates being outside and enjoying nature while camping in a forest with my sister or hanging out with me in a canyon in the desert. She absorbs the beauty and adventure in the same way as I absorb it.
Raising six children and being married since she finished Nursing School in the 1950’s, she never really had the opportunity to go out for a run or experience the beauty of a canyon first hand by running through it as the sun begins to rise or set. It’s not something that women would have been doing or maybe even allowed to do back then! She told me that she experiences such things through my writing, my pictures and my endless running stories!
Reading her letter touched my soul. Her enthusiasm and eagerness to hear about my adventures gets me excited to share with her all of the fun details! I never knew how much she really got out of my tall tales! I’ve been lucky in that she has accompanied me on quite a few of my shenanigans! She was there when I crossed the finish line of my first marathon in 2001, she was there for me when I ran my first Boston Marathon during our first experience with a Nor’Easter in 2007, and she was there for me as I ran my first 50K in the middle of the Hopi Reservation in 2013. She has also been behind the scenes in helping me out with my three kids!! If she wasn’t at the race, I guarantee she was happily helping out by watching the kids!!
I bet if my mom and I were the same age, or so, we would be best running buddies! We enjoy the simplicity of a colorful sunrise or sunset, the way the light can change the look of the mountains, encounters with wildlife, and the meditative aspect of running. It truly is “moving” mediation. My mom is knowledgable about so many things, a good listener, and has such a fun sense of humor! Yep, I definitely wouldn’t mind spending hours chatting it up with her on a run!
She also wrote in her letter how she likes to hear or read about my experiences and how they compare to her “imaginings” to the “real thing”. She reminded me of how much I am blessed and that I should be thankful as I “run and walk and rest to catch [my] breath and take photos” of where I am. To be “blessed” is actually translated as being the “beloved” of someone who blesses you. (Learned that from her, too! ♥) She wrote that I am God’s beloved and hers, too, and that I share something beautiful with those who run with me. She ended this letter by thanking me for bringing this beauty to her!
Well, I’d have to end this by thanking her for giving this gift to me first! Mother’s have a way of seeing deeper into their children’s souls and giving them those much-needed nudges, at times. I am glad that I have her to share so much with and look forward to sharing more adventures, more experiences and even more photos!