Saturday, February 8, 2014

Sometimes a run is just a run, but sometimes it's a prayer.

Sometimes a run is just a run, but sometimes it's a prayer. Thank you so much for this body that works. For the bones that support and the muscles that stretch. For lungs that expand and a heartbeat that tells me so reliably whether to speed up or slow down. Thank you for the sun and the sky, and for this particular moment in time that's perfect simply because it is happening now. Thank you for the rush of oxygen that clears my head, softening the tough things and sharpening the good. For this, and for everything; thanks.

Sometimes the prayer is a request. For peace of mind. For an hour of clarity to see things as they really are. For the truth to be found in the confrontation with the physical self, a subtle reckoning that echoes on repeat. Right foot, left foot, breathe in, breathe out. My soul lives in a body that will not last forever. Please help me make the most of this life, to learn what I'm supposed to learn, and recognize the gifts when they are given. Please keep my heart open and strong, my loved ones healthy and near. Please help me to do the hard but necessary things. Please get me up this hill. Sometimes the request is a single word: help, or please, or air.

Sometimes a run is an absolution. Dear body, forgive me for my sins. For the fact that this is my first run in a week. For the chocolate I eat and the wine that I drink (present tense because I'm not going to stop). Please absolve me for the bacon, and the fact that I have no plans for a juice cleanse. I know the score's not even, but it's more balanced than ever before. I get enough sleep most nights. I'm doing my best. Forgive me. Thanks.

Sometimes a run is grace embodied. I run because I can. Because I have a body that is perhaps not built for speed, but nevertheless allows me to place one foot in front of the other, over and over again. Because I once hurt my ankle so badly I could not walk across the room and it took me six months to re-build the strength and because it still hurts if I step on a rock at just the wrong angle and because I get a little scared in a good way on a really steep trail. Because all definitions of growth include movement. Because I'm alive and living, blessed with a body and spirit that encounter difficult things and survive them. Because struggling to breathe cold air for an hour somehow makes other things seem easier, more bearable, and because that alone seems like a pretty good definition of grace.

Sometimes a run is a question. And usually that question is why. Sometimes it's more specific than that. Oftentimes it's not.

Sometimes a run is an answer. Sometimes a run is the answer. I got it. I hear you. Thanks.

Sometimes a run is just a run, but sometimes it's a prayer.


  1. I love this post so much, Analiese, and I've had open in a tab for the past few days to keep re-reading it. Your writing is just beautiful here.

    1. Caiti, thank you so much. That means a lot to me!