“My face is burning!” I yelled as we were running through the storm of swirling wind and snow. “This might not have been a good idea.”
“What?” asked Jeremy. He couldn’t hear me in the dense, snow-laden landscape around us.
We were attempting our first winter run.
Like… major winter run. 18 degrees. Snowing. Windy. Cold. Wet. Slippery. Probably slightly dangerous.
Why run through the storm happening that day?
Well, I’ve worked so hard this fall to build up to where I am.
Running 3 and 4 mile runs is a huge achievement… something I’ve NEVER before been able to do, something I can’t loose.
I won’t let this go.
It is too hard to get here. To get my body to be able to withstand a solid run.
The aches, the pain, the incredible effort exerted each time I’ve gone out to run is too valuable to have slip through my fingers.
Over the winter, I’m determined to keep running. When we are staying in hotels or the weather is nice, it’s a little easier to get in a workout.
But living in Michigan in December without access to a treadmill or running track?
Running outside is my only option.
To go out and run through the storm.
So there we were… running. Outside.
I was unprepared for the onslaught of the elements.
My body cried out against every step.
“Next time,” I said, all while thinking there might not be a next time, “Next time, I need a scarf. Or a face mask. This is miserable!”
My phone told me that we’d only gone about .3 of a mile through the storm so far.
I laughed and yelled up to Jeremy, “We will remember this run when we are dying in the 100 degree heat of Senegal and trying to run!”
I think he heard me because he laughed and said, “Yes, in the sand!”
By this time the snow and the wind were really getting to me.
I looked down to see my pants and my sweatshirt almost completely white with wet snow.
Ugh. How much do I really need to do this? This is just crazy.
It’s too cold and too wet and the snow plow drivers think we are absolutely nuts.
Yes, we were running along side the snow plows and the shovelers and the salters of the apartment snow crew. I can only imagine what they thought. #crazyrunners
At 1 mile I was done.
At 1.5 miles I was really done.
I stopped to retie my shoe and Jeremy was way ahead of me. I was totally ready to stop. My legs were frozen and I was worried about my toes.
At 2 miles I told Jeremy we should head back.
He kept going and yelled, “You can go back. I’ll meet you there.”
I couldn’t go back. He was still going.
I could keep going too.
How do you keep going through the storm?
I started to relax. Let go. Settle in.
Keep running. I realized I was warmer than before. The snow wasn’t bothering me like it was.
I looked up and realized the white, peaceful beauty of the outdoors.
I realized how blessed I was to be able to run and enjoy the snowy scenery along the path.
The trees dressed in brilliant, untouched white.
Running where only animals were crazy enough to walk.
Realizing that I’m stronger than I thought.
2 and a half miles through untouched paths… a blanket of lake effect snow covering everything.
Running because I can. Because the snow won’t stop me.
Because it is possible to enjoy the experience… even during the discomfort of the storm.
Realizing that when I quite focusing on me, I can appreciate the blessings of the world around me.
I can see the small things.
I mean… really SEE the small things.
I can appreciate the struggle. I can be thankful. I can keep going.
I can. Even if it is hard.
I was cold and wet but I had succeeded.
I had learned a lesson. Many lessons.
The storm doesn’t win.
“So Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego came out of the fire, and the satraps, prefects, governors and royal advisers crowded around them. They saw that the fire had not harmed their bodies, nor was a hair of their heads singed; their robes were not scorched, and there was no smell of fire on them.Then Nebuchadnezzar said, “Praise be to the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, who has sent his angel and rescued his servants!” Daniel 3:26-28
“Do not fear, for I have redeemed you;
I have summoned you by name; you are mine.
When you pass through the waters,
I will be with you;
and when you pass through the rivers,
they will not sweep over you.
When you walk through the fire,
you will not be burned;
the flames will not set you ablaze.
For I am the Lord your God,
the Holy One of Israel, your Savior…”