I started running with my boys on Sunday mornings at a forestry wilderness park. My husband has been running for years, and I was starting to join him more regularly, so we decided to take the boys out with us to see how they would do. I was hoping they wouldn't slow me down too much to get a good run in. To my surprise, Tony, my seven-year old youngest son, was a lot faster than I imagined. He's got a natural running stride that is light and quick. He ran along side me the whole way, practically running underneath my armpit. Every now and then I get reminded about just how much they have grown up. This was one of them. Running with my sons was a proud moment for me. We passed up bicyclist and hikers who were impressed they could venture out on this rugged six-mile trail at such a young age. I was most content because I knew what an awesome experience this was for all of us to be able to get up on a Sunday morning and run as a family.
The run was a lot tougher for me though. I struggled to keep up. How’s that for ironic! I felt like a brick running with legs. I huffed and puffed and fought to continue on the up hills, and picked up rhythm and energy on the steep down hills. I always feel best after a good downhill. I widen my arms for balance and allow the momentum to carry me forward. All the while, I watch my step since the trails are filled with rocks, mud, dirt, and uneven ground. I was beginning to feel really strong, powerful, and free like the type of runners who finish a marathon in around 3:15 time. All of a sudden I saw an insignificant rock on the ground about the size of my fist. I'd passed up bigger rocks all throughout my run, but this one made me slam my whole body into the ground. I hit my pubic bone, the right side of my chin cracked, and mud flew into my mouth. It's like that in life isn't it. We are extra careful during a big crisis, but get blind-sided and rattled by the far less significant everyday routine annoyances. I gasped lying on the floor. I could see only the shoes and calves of my 7-year who was being to rock from foot to foot. I shot back up. I didn't want him to internalize my fall and become fearful of running in anyway. I was up and running along side my young son, but my thoughts were different. I was still mulling over my fall lamenting and agonizing, "Why is it that whenever I start to feel free and like I'm going somewhere I fall literally flat on my face!" But, before I could even finish the sentence, I felt a greater truth speak to me from my heart. True freedom comes from being able to get yourself back up every time you get knocked down. I've come too far not to know this was true. It's a lesson I've been learning my whole life. "I get up each time I fall." I absorbed that thought, shook off any last sentiments, and continued running in stride breathing in deep and enjoying the freedom that comes with taking each new step.
Tobymac - Get Back Up