The hills, they lie.
Whether you’re a runner, a biker, a walker, or human being trying to muddle through life, the hills can reach up and grab you with their dirt, gravel,or asphalt arms. They choke you with an alternative reality and can convince you that you’re:
- out of shape
- out of touch
- out of your mind
The hills can be the slopes you run, or a metaphor for obstacles.
I know this going into my morning runs, but all the positive affirmations in the world don’t seem to stop the feeling of:
I’m not going to make it
The summit is too far away
Age and bad knees have taught me to be humble and gentle with myself, so it wasn’t a surprise that I struggled with that hill again this morning. What starts as an unobtrusive climb, continues for a mile of soul-stealing incline torture. Add a Kansas south wind, and I’m penning my last will and testament.
I usually run with my husband, so instead cursing the hill, I focused my less-than-positive efforts on the dude and the dog running in front of me. Hubs has been working hard, getting in shape, and losing weight to be healthier and more energetic so it’s natural that I want to support him, right? Riiight.
Soulful Sweet Wife says, Look at him go!
Ego-Infested Wife says, He’s leaving me behind…
Sarcastic Wife says, Thanks for not stopping (insert derogatory name here)
That less-than-generous inner tone set like a bitter potassium pill on the tip of my tongue. Whatever happened to no man left behind? Nonetheless, I kept my mouth shut, trudged on and watched the back of the man leaving me in the dust.
Then, something funny happened.
The longer I ran, the more ground I covered. The more ground I covered, the more I realized that I would make it. My face softened, my breathing became even, and suddenly, I was grateful. If Scott would have stopped, I would have, too.
When I finally caught up to him, I touched his arm and said, Thanks for not stopping.
How many times have we thanked the people in our lives who didn’t let us stop?
- A grade school teacher who told us we could do better
- A parent with a gentle touch and firm recommendation to do homework first, play second
- A coach barking out an order for one more rep/mile/set of stairs/lap
- A hint of spring on day where we couldn’t stand to see one more inch of rain or snow
Let’s take this a step further. Instead of using negative framing phrases or words like not or stop, what would be a more positive way to express this gratitude?
Thanks for keeping me going…
Dear honeysuckle at near full-bloom right now — it was your promise of blossoms and aroma that kept me from chopping down your winter-stripped twigs choking our creek ~~thanks for getting me through winter
Dear Friends who tolerate my rare low moments and remind me to Suck it up Buttercup ~~thanks for keeping me grounded
Dear Children who give me a smile and a hug to start the day ~~thanks for giving me a reason to rise with the sun
Dear Mamas who send me sweet messages through the week ~~thanks for being my positive peoples
Dear Keyboard with its finger-smudged letters ~~thanks for waiting
Dear seedlings in my greenhouse ~~thanks for growing
Dear Hubby for supporting me in all my shiny object moments and traipse to the middle of Kansas for a photography Instameet~~thanks for letting me chase my dreams
To all of you, who read my ramblings ~~thanks for taking your time to be here
And to Scott, this morning ~~thanks for keeping me going