Have you ever had one of those seasons in your life where time screams by at warp speed and you wonder how you will ever find a balance again? Yeah- that’s been the case for me this school year. It started off pretty great with all things right in my world. Then, life started to happen and I found myself spinning way too many plates. Women do this–we can’t help ourselves. By the time I finished with my daily responsibilities as a mom/wife/daughter/teacher/friend/writer/neighbor/human, there was only enough time for me to brush my teeth and hit the pillow. There were many times that I debated the extra shower time it took to wash my hair or just how wrinkled pants had to be to skip the iron. What I’m saying is that this school year kicked my ass!
I normally love to workout. I’ll run or do yoga. Strength training is tons of fun for me. Just moving my body and feeling healthy. As with the hair washing and ironing, the exercise routine was royally screwed these past few months. Time for a run-HA! More like a walk up and down the stairs at work and count it as exercise!
When the annual Joplin Memorial Run registration posts started popping up on my Facebook newsfeed, I knew that I didn’t want to pass it up. My family never misses this race. As citizens of Joplin, we remember when that EF5 tornado struck on May 22, 2011, and the devastating days that followed. We understand that this race is all about celebrating our city’s rise from the rubble and honoring the 161 souls that were lost in the storm. This race means something to us. There are 5K and half marathon options for runners. I’m in no shape to even consider a half, but I figured I could manage a 5K. Even if I walked it, I could finish.
We signed up, just as I knew we would. My teenager ran the 5K and earned first in her age group. She left it all on the course literally because she tossed her cookies right after crossing that finish line. Yes- it was a hot and humid morning! My husband killed it in the half marathon, taking first place in his age division.
Me? I ran a 12+ pace for my 5K and felt enormously proud of myself! My lungs weren’t ready for it. My legs were sluggish. My gait wasn’t pretty. But, I did it! The soreness in my thighs the next day felt amazing! I know that sounds crazy, but the pain meant that I finally had the chance to work my body again.
This year’s medal was designed with the “Spirit Tree” as the featured bling, which is a tree that symbolized strength and hope following the tornado. That medal will serve as my personal spirit tree. Earning the medal showed me that I have the strength and the hope to get back to my fitness journey. It’s time. It’s beyond time. No matter what life throws my way, I’ll look for the strength and hope to make time for me, my physical and emotional health. Because I’m worth it. I still might skip the ironing sometimes, just for fun. Running clothes can have wrinkles, right?