Monday, March 25, 2013

Choosing Persistence



I could see the sun shining through the thin smudged glass window and a hint of the vibrant blue sky as I sat rocking and drinking my morning coffee deep in thought. The rocking felt good. It felt comforting except for the annoying thought that the rocking was getting me no where. You should be running in the sunshine, the little voice in my head whispered. 

I continued to sit, comfortably planted in my chair, wondering why it was so difficult for me to do something I knew would ultimately make me feel better. Sure, a run today would be harder than usual. I have been way too sporadic in my running routine lately. Running and I have had all the components of an intense love affair. There was the initial spark in running. The attraction that catches your eye, that moment you see the really fit chick running, looking svelte and comfortable without a care in the world. And you want that. You want that feeling.  You think to yourself, maybe I can have that. Maybe that could be me. You are instantly attracted.

The next phase approaches fast and furious and you start to see the reality of the work it’s going to take. But your excitement softens reality and you keep the vision in your head and you push forward. Somewhere the excitement turns into a kind of obsession and you are hooked. It’s like a drug. It’s like the steamy romance novel we have all read at one time or another. Running consumes your thoughts like that intoxicating attraction for that one person you just can’t get enough of.

Just like most intense steamy love affairs, the initial excitement eventually subsides. You are left to decide whether to push forward without the heart stopping intensity or just give up. But a quote quickly comes to mind about strength. “A river cuts through rock not by it’s power but its persistence.”

Today as I rock in my chair, I am missing feeling the intensity. Today I have to make the decision and choice to be patient and persistent. I need to choose to push forward and reach a place I’m unsure I can ever really get to. But I have to try. I remember my mom used to say anything worth having is worth waiting for.
So I’m out the door. I get up and head out mindlessly. It’s a beautiful day and I recognize the beauty instantly in spite of a nagging sadness. One of my oldest friends recently lost her mom and I am profoundly sad. She was a great mom and person and the world lost her far too soon. She was the kind of mom everyone wishes they had. I connected with my friend in so many ways having lost both of my own parents. The most intense recognition for me was simply the look on my friend’s face when I last saw her. When she got out of my car I instantly recognized the look in her eyes as she lingered in the passenger door for a split moment. You are just never the same when you lose your mom. As disappointed as I was my friend and I didn’t have more time to talk about all the details,  I realized she really didn’t need to say anything. I already knew. I got it.

So as I was running today I thought about her and her mom. I decided that I would dedicate my run today to her memory. It was a four mile run down memory lane. As I ran I remembered when I met her and her family at 15 years old. I remembered how they were the family I had always wished for. A real family, with a mom and a dad and 3 kids. They ate dinner together. They were exactly what I had always wanted.

As I ran I thought about how grateful I was to have reconnected with her as an adult woman. She was able to meet my family and see my life now. Ironically we were able to talk about my mom and how hard the loss was for me the last time we got together. She encouraged me and really made me feel good about my move to Canandaigua and my accomplishments. I am always grateful for the surrogate moms that have popped in my life and helped me along the way. She was definitely one of those people and I was lucky to have known her.

I’m glad I forced myself out the door today. I’m glad I’m pushing forward even though the spark is less intense and replaced by the need for effort. I’m glad I’m making the decision to continue to run even on days I don’t really want to. I have faith that someday soon I will reach my goal. In the meantime I will choose to be persistent. “A river cuts through rock not by it’s power but its persistence.”