Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Building the Foundation - Part 1

I had stopped running regularly. I suffered a stress fracture in my right foot over the summer, and once that had healed, I was out of my running routine. I kept trying to get back to it, but honestly, I've only been fitting in a run about once a week for the past 2 months.

Until last week, that is. After I went to the first ACA meeting, and began to realize that this was not going to be some quick and painless process, my morning routine of prayer and running became much more important. Suddenly, I needed to get up early and attend mass much more than I needed sleep. Suddenly, I needed to run until my head gave up and gave over to my body again.

I was greatly helped by the unseasonably warm temperatures and our relaxed-school schedule last week. I just took the kids with me over to the trail, and we all ran together. It felt so good to be running again, to push my body, to let the physical aches overtake the emotional ones, even just for a little while.

It felt so good that I set the alarm very early on Saturday morning, even though the weather had turned much colder overnight and I had to be at a conference at 9am. I do not like the cold, but I needed to run. I needed to be out in God's creation, pushing myself past the pain.

So, I bundled up, slipped on a headband for my ears and gloves for my hands, filled my water bottle, and headed to the trail. It had rained overnight. The ground was wet and covered with freshly fallen leaves. A mist hung in the trees, rain-darkened trunks contrasting with the bright yellow and orange leaves still clinging to the branches.

I was alone on the trail. My breath appeared before me, momentarily visible, as I ran in the morning stillness: slow, steady, letting the initial stiffness of my muscles be replaced by warm fluidity and, eventually, by the ache of fatigue.

I prayed my way along that trail, asking for guidance from the Holy Spirit. As I turned around to head back toward the car, my mind began to categorize all of the tools I have in place to support me during this process: my morning prayer and mass routine, my prayer life in general, running, my husband and close friends, my Spiritual Director. It was as though God had been leading me here, slowly building the foundation I would need to be willing to step onto the path toward healing. None of these things appeared overnight. Every one of them was a slow, lengthy process, in and of itself. It took time and persistence to develop my prayer life, my exercise routine, my support network.

I didn't reach this place quickly or on my own. I'm not going to get through it quickly or on my own, either. And, I'm ok with that. Before I even knew to ask for it, the Holy Spirit was providing the guidance and assistance he knew I would need. What more can I ask for than his continued guidance?

1 comment:

  1. simply-----a very inspiring post.