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3 Weeks Ago

3 weeks ago, Johnny and I began to prepare for the upcoming Great Potato race taking place on May 19th.  Johnny is planning to do the 1/2 marathon (which he as done previously 3 times) and I set a goal to try to do the 10K (6 miles).  Six miles definitely seems a bit daunting given the fact that I am incredibly out of shape and haven't run once in the past four months. But my hopes were to push myself.  So three weeks ago, I put on my workout clothes, laced up my running shoes and headed out the door with my iphone set with my new running playlist.  I felt excited, exhilarated and ready to meet the challenge.  I set out that day to run one mile.  That was until I made it about 3 blocks and had to stop.  I was out of breath, my side ached terribly and I was convinced that I having a heart attack.  Once I was able to catch my breath, I decided to walk the rest of the way. 

Many times in the past I would have ended my running aspirations right there and would have headed back to the house to whip up a batch of chocolate chip cookies.  But this time I was determined to press on.  I wanted to run the 10k and I wanted to get some of the excess weight off of my body in the process.  So, the next day I tried again.  This time I was determined to push through the pain and run one full mile..... without stopping.   And by God's grace, I did it!  Granted, I was running so slow that any speed walker could have smoked me, and once again I could hardly breath,  but I did one full mile without stopping.  Well, actually I did stop for about 10 seconds when I looked up into the beautiful blue sky and noticed that this puffy cloud looked to me like a baby in the womb at about 10 weeks.   I quickly grabbed my phone to snap this picture.  


Do you see it?  (Johnny thinks I'm crazy)

Source: via Lorissa on Pinterest

I guess it's just the crazy mom in me, but for some reason this cloud made me smile and reminded me at that moment of the beauty of life when I thought I was about to die.   (And no, I am not pregnant...although this would have been a cool way to announce a pregnancy.)

Anyways, back to running. I've continued the process of running, working out and trying to eat better and I'm actually starting to enjoy it.  I am feeling great.  I have so much more energy and have lost 8 pounds.  Yesterday, I ran 6.32 miles without stopping.  My lungs did not burn, my side never ached and for the most part, I enjoyed it!  Johnny ran 10 miles earlier in the day which inspired me to push myself to go farther than I had ever gone before.  

The passed several years I've stood on the sidelines cheering Johnny on as he set and reached his goals in running the 1/2 marathon.  I've always been so proud of him and so impressed with his ability to never give up.  It's one of the qualities about him that I love and admire most.  Johnny is the type of person who stands by his word and follows through with every commitment.  He is amazing. 

 Photobucket Photobucket

And yet, deep down inside, I've always wondered what it would be like to train for and to run a race myself.  I truly never, ever thought that I would ever be able run more than a mile or two.   My mind had allowed me to settle into the role that I would be the one to always sit from the sidelines being my families biggest cheerleader.   And although I will undoubtably always be cheering the loudest for my family as they work to reach their goals, I too want to join in. 


It is a given that "sacrifice" is synonymous with parenting.  Undoubtably, when little ones come into your world, life changes and priorities change.   And change is good.  It's easy to convince yourself that you're so busy working and being a parent that you don't have time to work out, spend time with your friends, enjoy a hobby or take time for yourself for spiritual growth.  But I'm starting to realize that this isn't true.  In allowing myself a little time each day to work towards being healthy, to pray or to go to lunch with a friend, then I am fulfilling important needs that will help me to be the best mother I can be.  I want my kids to grow up remembering the times that their parents ran around with them in the back yard playing soccer and football with them (something I haven't been able to do the past several years).  I want them to remember the bike rides and evening walks and when they cheered their parents on to the finish line.  I want them to see us occasionally going out with friends so that they realize the importance of nurturing life giving relationships.  I also want our children to see Johnny and I following our own dreams so that they have the example of what it looks like to work hard to accomplish something that is important to them.   

But most of all, the thing I'm loving most about running and working out is that it has become a great time of prayer for me. When I'm at the gym I listen to these amazing podcasts of homilies by Fr. Mike Schmitz and I can feel my life being transformed.  On the days that I run outside I find myself going to a new place of prayer.  I find my senses heightened and I become more aware of the presence of God around me and the presence of His peace.  Sometimes I pray for each home that I run past, asking God to bless those who live inside.  Sometimes when the running becomes too difficult and my body is screaming for me to stop, I imagine Jesus up ahead cheering me on with his arms outstretched waiting to hold me (this is one of Johnny's tricks).  Most of the time I just run, knowing that He is with me and I find myself completely attentive to His gentle voice sharing with me the dreams He has for my life.  These are the dreams I want to follow. 

Yesterday, as I was nearing my 4 mile mark I was excited to see Johnny and the kids pull around the corner on their caravan of bikes.  They had come to find me and to cheer me on.  Their little chipmunk voices were so sweet as they shouted "good job Mommy!" clearly rehearsed moments earlier by Johnny.  It made me laugh and at the same time brought tears to my eyes.  For the remaining two-and-a-half miles they rode ahead of me continuing to encourage me.  It was a special moment for me.  I felt proud, I felt fully alive and I felt so very,very blessed. 

Diocese064.jpgThis the last homily podcast by Fr. Mike Schmitz that I listened to entitled "The Guardian".  It's seriously so good!! Check it out! Or go to itunes and download them for free!

My running playlist: 
Rolling in the Deep - Adele
God's Not Dead - Newsboys
Rise Up - Matt Maher
Where I Belong - Building 29
Funky Jesus Music - Toby Mac
Take My Hand - Shawn McDonald
Christ is Risen - Matt Maher
Here is our King - David Crowder Band
What Makes You Beautiful - One Direction 
Our God - Chris Tomlin
Eye of the Tiger - Survivor
Turn Around - Matt Maher
The Spirit and the Bride - Matt Maher
The Wealth of Kings - Ike Ndolo Band
Hit Me With Your Best Shot - Pat Benatar
Alive Again - Matt Maher
Tunnel - Third Day

What are some of your favorite workout songs?  Please share, it's always nice to add new songs to the mix. 

1 comment on "3 Weeks Ago"
  1. Lorissa - thanks for sharing. It is so challenging as a Mom to find the balance between doing things for yourself to be a better/healthier Mom and sacrificing those things you want to do for the sake of being a better/healthier Mom... if that makes sense. :) Good luck with your training - I know you will do great. Thanks for sharing your playlist - I have been wanting to update mine with more Christian/Catholic music but didn't know where to start! Two songs I do have that I love are Lifesong and Father, Spirit, Jesus by Casting Crowns