Saturday, December 10, 2011

Metaphor for Life?

I have a confession to make.  I was one of those people who listened to their runner friends extolling the virtues of a run and then always did the big eye roll, usually ending the conversation with, "Well, I can't do it. In fact, I hate it. I'm just not a runner."  Let's face it--runners are annoying to those of us who don't partake.  They don their performance athletic gear and head out, regardless of the weather. They talk about running like it is some kind of spiritual experience rather than just the torturous experience we all know it to be.  They even go so far as to call it a metaphor for life...

(via Pinterest)

I mean, come on!  Seriously???  (insert eye roll here)  Are these people insane??????????

Now to the point of this post.  I offer up a sincere apology to the people in my life who run. I get it now. I understand. I run. I can actually say this now and I almost believe it...I am a runner.  I don performance athletic gear and head out the door several times a week.  I love it.  It has become my time for me, just for me.  I am not fast (though I am getting faster), but I don't care.  I have wrestled through things with God, prayed and cried for loved ones going through trials, and have sung out praises and worshiped my Father while running. (Ok, I'm not sure you can actually call it singing, and raising your hands in praise while running must look quite strange to those who may be watching you run by.)  There is just something about pushing through the pain and through the times when you want to quit, all the while saying to yourself, "I've got this.  I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Make it to the corner. Make it to the mailbox. Keep going."  Do you recall this quote from Winnie the Pooh?  It is quite true.

(Photo via Pinterest)

I started running because I don't want to be fat. That's the honest truth.  The physical changes I see in my body from running are just fantastic. I love that I get a rear end from running, as I am rear end challenged (many thanks, Grandmother Romano). I love seeing the muffintop start to disappear and other areas start to firm and tone.  Getting in shape is certainly worth the effort when it means you fit into your clothes without Spanx.  But there is just so much more to it.

The decision to keep running, to run farther and longer, came after a time of self-discovery.  After a few difficult years of going through some really hard things as a family, as a friend, and as a believer in Jesus, I realized that I wanted to just be me, and decided that my outside should reflect what I felt inside. It's all about strength, grace and overcoming. It is about being better today than I was yesterday, pushing through the trials and pain that life throws at me, all the while knowing that God has for me a time of rest and peace on the other side of the hard times.  Hmmmmm....dare I say that running just may be a metaphor for life?

(photo via Pinterest)

Friday, December 2, 2011

Lines and Wrinkles and Crow's Feet...Oh My!!

Lately I find myself pondering my rapidly approaching fortieth birthday.  Yep, the big 4-0. I am definitely ambivalent on the whole aging issue.  The older I get, the more I enjoy the freedom of not giving a crap about what anyone else thinks.  Really.  I have decided to be me, finally.  It takes a while to get to that place, but it is a lovely place to be once you arrive. I refuse to return to the world of insecurity and fear of the opinions of others. That world is a joy-sucker.

I have realized lately that when I think of the things that I don't like about aging, those things are (mostly) physical.  Things like how much harder my workouts have to be just to MAINTAIN the muffintop, not to mention how much harder workouts have to be to eliminate it!  Geez.  Then there is the overall sagging and bagging in various places that is just not fun.  Let's just say that a good bra is worth every penny. :-). Another bummer is how long it takes to recover from injury.  Can't just bounce back like I could when I was, well, younger.  Oh, and what is that flabby weirdness that starts to form on the inner thighs as one approaches 40 years of life????? I do not like that at all.

There are a few physical changes that don't bother me.  I don't really mind the lines and wrinkles that I see cropping up.  I have just decided to never look in a mirror in natural light.  Problem solved. :) Just kidding, sort of.  I also refuse to color gray hair. If guys can do it and it's accepted, so can I.  I find it disturbing and frustrating that women feel the pressure to look younger so much more acutely than men.  Is gray hair really so horrible??? I think that the whole idea of gray hair making men look distinguished and women look old is a load of garbage.

Here are a few things I have learned in the past few years...

-The best things in your beauty arsenal are joy, contentment and good health.

-Good, healthy skin is the best makeup.

-Drinking water and green tea makes you feel and look better.

-Veggies are good medicine, especially green veggies.

-True friends are a rare find. Treasure the ones you have.

-Enjoy the years with your kids.  They are fleeting and someday you will look back on them with longing.

-Have fun with your spouse. Being married to your best friend is a blessing.

-Make sure your home is filled with laughter. Be sure you can laugh at yourself. Less stressful that way.

-Above all, be thankful.  On days when I feel a darkness closing in on me, I praise my Father for all His blessings.  Count your blessings. I assure you, they are many.

Aaaaaand a little P.S...
I don't know if any of you out there follow the "No More Dirty Looks" blog, but it is a favorite of mine.  This recent post on aging is great, as are the many comments following the article.