Stomping Out the Bad


When I was in high school I did a little bit of everything, one of which was track.  I ran hurdles.  Yes my 5’2″ body 5 stepped and my ambidextrous self jumped with alternating legs over each hurdle.  It was fun, I loved it.  I ran the 4-girl 440 relay too and did the long jump.  But what I never did was distance.  I hated interval training.  HATED IT.  My chest would burn, my feet would hurt ,and if I could cut across the field when the coach wasn’t looking I would.  I just wanted to get in those starter blocks, hear the gun, and run like hell for about 10-30 seconds.  I was a sprinter.

That kind of defines me in life as well.  I work in short spurts of inspiration.  They are very productive times that make up for times I spend waiting for said inspiration.  I have learned to wait for them with assurance that eventually they will come.  I’ve never really been the slow and steady kind of gal though.  Not when it comes to work, projects, or creativity.  And that is why my latest endeavor is surprising to me.  I’ve started running.  Ok maybe jogging is a better term.  But longer than 30 seconds 😉  Tonight I ran 3.77 miles in 40 minutes.  It was a new record for me.

I’m a competitive person.  I like to win.  I like to keep up with my friends.  And Martin is a runner.  My friend Karen is too.  She started running right after her husband left her and it kept her from sinking into depression.  So I thought what the heck, I’ll try it.  I went to the gym and tried to get into watching “Real Housewives of New Jersey” via closed caption.  But I got bored, fast.  I found myself watching the blinking red light that went around the display track and counting the seconds that ticked by.  I stuck with it but I never got passed 2 miles.

One night early in the summer I decided I would try out my running shoes on the pavement and run for real.  I felt the wind wrap around my entire sweaty body which was different from the fan blowing air in my face on the treadmill.  And I got to watch the sun set.  It was hard.  But I felt a sense of accomplishment so I kept doing it.  And now I feel so good after a run I think I get the endorphins they talk about.

Yes my chest still pounds and I’m all phlegmy and sweaty after I’m done but there is something amazingly cathartic about running.  My whole body feels like it’s working the way it’s supposed to at top performance and all the parts that have gotten creaky are getting to do what they were made to do.

I never thought I would like it.  But I do.  And I’m grateful for it because today I needed it.  I was very emotional.

Martin did not get a call from Chicago about his job so he called them.  He was told that the woman who is running the job hunt in the HR department is on vacation until Thursday and they can’t release the name of their choice until then.  When he told me this I was numb.  It was not a “no.”  In fact some things she said to him made me think maybe it was a “yes.”  But I have had a horrible night’s sleep the past two nights.  I have been dreaming and waking up every two hours.  Subconsciously I’m a wreck.  And when he said it wouldn’t be until Thursday, the tears just started running down my cheeks.

It’s everything.  My house is not ready for my mother to stay here a week (she is very picky about how I keep it.)  My laundry isn’t close to being done which needs to happen before I pack.  I have a studio photography shoot tomorrow and have to cart all my gear, set it up, and then do the shoot which is very physical work.  My son had a water polo game tonight 30 miles away that I spent sitting next to my ex in almost silence and he lost the game; it sucked up 3 hours of my time.  And I think I’m just feeling the pressure.

So tonight I ran, and channeled all my frustration and angst into every step.  My ex asking me if I’ve been practicing pool because he beat me the first two games at my sister’s party on Sunday.  STOMP – gone. My ex laughing about the 8-ball shot he got with his eyes closed.  STOMP – gone.  The call I made to my mom the other day that went sour (need another whole blog to explain that one.)  STOMP – gone.

And as I ran and sucked in that air, and pushed my muscles up inclines, I stomped away the bad dreams I’ve been having, They’ve been lurking underneath the surface of my mind.  The ones of Martin being too far away for me to reach.  The ones I can’t remember the details to, only the feelings. The ones that keep me waking up at night.

As I listened to the music on my iPod, I found myself running faster than normal just to keep up with the rhythm.  I pushed myself forward and I  began to see in my mind what I was running toward not running from.  Me on Saturday at Heathrow, walking out of the airport and spotting Martin in the crowd.  His big smile and the big kiss I will get.  Him telling me that he got the job and would be moving by the end of the month (quick prayer said.)  And I kept running.  Song after song reminded me of how good my life was. And I started turning another corner in my mind.  Away from desperation and fear and toward hope and contentment.  Phew.

My life is good….not IF he moves here BUT right now. YES, there are things I’m hoping for, but I know how much worse it could be.

And my life right now, with everything how it is right now is the best it’s ever been.  Who am I to be greedy?  I ran passed the apartments where he will live if he gets this job.  I smiled and thought how great God is to see me through as He has.  To surprise me with this wonderful romance.  Provide for my needs, and give me more love and laughter than I could have ever hoped or dreamed for.

I got home and went straight to the backyard pool.  I peeled off my running shoes, socks and shorts, took off the bra underneath my tank top and waded in.  No more tears.  I felt better.  It was a moment.  Ready to face my big day tomorrow whatever it brings.  And the day after that…and I will see Martin the day after that. At that point I will know,  he is either moving here to be with me and will get to celebrate with him, or not and I will get to hug and hold him as we wait on the Lord for the next step.  But I will always be thankful.  No matter what.

6 responses to “Stomping Out the Bad

  1. AWESOME! That’s really great. I have a running mix on my iPod that if I listen to the beats just right I can get a bit of extra strength to keep moving. Unfortunately tomorrow I’ll be running hills with a girlfriend so we’ll be lucky if we do 2.5-3 miles but at least it won’t be as hot as it’s been all summer here in Virginia. I think I feel a trickle of the endorphins from running, too, but not yet the full-on weight I expect to get from running…yet!! I’m glad you found a way out of last night’s frustration and a healthy one (healthier than when I eat a bag of potato chips and ice cream…which I totally did the other day)…have to remember to channel like you did!

  2. Amen my sister. God is great. I too am amazed at how His glory is falling down all around me. There are times lately that I am just so close to tears of joy that I can hardly contain them when I think of how He is moving so strongly in my life and in yours. It is so true that He gives us nothing more than we can handle and always finds a way out from underneath for us. God bless. I think I’ll take up running.

  3. Livvy – can’t believe it’s already time to go! So happy for you. Running – I didn’t start until later in life and I loved it so much. Would start out with the weight of world on shoulders and by the end, I was happy as a lark. Keep it up, it’s the best stress reliever. Have the very best time and don’t worry about how it’s all gonna work. And it’s all gonna work. Cheers!

  4. Guess you’re in a mad panic trying to get everything organised for your trip. Hope your mom thinks your house looks just great for your visit – and hope your trip to England is the BEST. Looking forward to hearing how well it’s gone. I’m really excited for you.

    Jude X

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