Yesterday was one of the hottest runs I have experienced to date. It was already something like 75 degrees at 5 AM, and my one sleeveless running shirt was still hanging to dry, so I was stuck in sleeves almost down to my elbows. The air was heavy, muggy, hard to breathe.
I still finished my run across the bridge and back, 2.5 miles, or about 5,000 steps (according to the answers I googled). I managed that in the oppressive air just the same way I always do: one step at a time. It's really the only way to run. If I start to dwell on how much further I have to go, what incline is ahead, whether I can finish or not...well, I quickly lose hope and motivation. But if I just take a step, and take another step, and just continue staying in the exact moment of this step...it's amazing, how far I can go. I don't have to keep running for 4,999 more steps. I just have to maintain my pace for THIS STEP. And the way I take THIS STEP is lean into God and let Him push, pull, prod, and/or carry me through.
It's a lesson that works across the spectrum, whether we stick with "loving my body" examples like focusing on just this bite of food rather than the next 40, or whether we turn it up a notch to examine...say...marriage. Looking back I can see that I lost my part of the battle for my marriage when I stopped dealing in the moment and started panicking about how I could "live like that" for the rest of my life. When we look way down the road, it looks too hard, and the objections start to rise. I'm not able! What about my "right" to have it as I want it? Why should I have to try that hard, when others don't? What about me me me me memememememememeMMMMMEEEEEEEEEEE?! Forgetting of course that what is best for ME is to stay in the moment, trust God, give my best, and slap away the "what ifs" like the nasty flying blood-sucking vermin that they are.
One step at a time. Or, like my bike ride on Sunday that was almost as hard as yesterday's run...one pedal at a time. Push this time, and then push the next time, and don't worry about how many times I'm gonna have to push to get there. I'll get there.
It's worth it. I arrived home yesterday without needing to stop or walk. I was a little raincloud of sweat, leaving droplets everywhere I moved, and while it's not fun to push to that point, it DOES make me feel like a badass afterward (and for the record, I LIKE that feeling...if you're grown up enough to be over it, you'll just have to forgive me my childishness or drive on.) It was worth the push. It was best for this body. It will bring its own rewards.
This moment. It's what I have. Resolving to use it as best I may, and trust God for the cleanup.