Just a Mile

“If you don’t take the chance to live life, what can you say at the end of it?” ~Naveen Andrews

Two years ago I went through something profound.  My world was complacent and in one day everything became something else.  It was almost as if I put my life into a blender and hit the switch on high.  My world became mixed, tangled, and unrecognizable.  And then the bottom fell out.  I couldn’t breathe.  I lost myself and I had absolutely no hope of salvation.

Then, for no apparent reason, at 7:00 at night, on a random Sunday in September, I decided to go for a run.  I was tired.  I needed to give the kids a bath.  The housework had piled up beyond belief.  But it didn’t matter.  At that moment I had to go running.  I put up my hair, threw on my shoes and headed out the door.  It was slow, it was messy, it could hardly even be classified as a run.

But that run saved my life.  I was able to crawl through the wreckage that was my summer and come out the other side breathing.  I kept running and eventually I was able to run a mile without stopping and that became the marker on which I base my life.

When I would fall off the running wagon, I would continually test myself by running a mile.  When I would fall into a deep depression, I would test myself by running a mile (when I finally emerged). When I drank a little too much wine the night before I would test myself by running a mile.  During my pregnancy I would continually test myself by running a mile.  And now, 4 weeks after having my baby, I tested myself by running a mile…and I was still able to do it.  I would tell myself if I could still run a mile all hope was not lost.  If I could still run a mile there was a chance…of something, anything.

These days, after finishing numerous 5 ks, a 10k , and a half marathon a mile might seem pretty insignificant.  Sometimes on my rest days I head out to run “just a mile”.  But in reality, to me, it was never “just a mile”.  It was so much more.  It was something I wanted for so long and I made a plan, put in the effort, and on the other side came out successful.  It was an accomplishment and it set the tone for the rest of my life.  It was something that could never be lost or taken for me.  It was my mile and I owned it.

Running a mile showed me that what I wanted was important.  Running a mile showed me what I wanted was possible.

It was never “just a mile”.  It was my life.  And with that mile I had saved it.

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