third time around

it was a sunny sunday. the mile loop around the park was littered with dogs walking their owners, parents towing their children and tweenagers holding hands. there were a couple of other runners. a super fit guy trotted around the track, huffing and puffing as hard as i do. i was glad to know i wasn’t the only one who sounded like they were losing a lung.

i reviewed my 1 km markers during the warm-up. i vowed to run every inch of that 0.6 miles to make up for the second workout shortfall.

while timing my walk, i saw a severely obese woman struggling just to put one foot in front of the other. her legs were swollen and discolored but she continued to trudge on. i noticed people on the path staring at her, some of them in disbelief, others in disgust. i didn’t feel either of those things as i looked her. what i felt was pride. we weren’t so different. we were both out of our comfort zones, physically challenging ourselves, determined to meet our goals. i was proud of us for being there and taking the necessary “steps” for our health. as we passed one another i smiled, not one of those trying-to-be-polite half-hearted awkward smiles , but a genuine one, full of appreciation and acknowledgement. she glanced up from the ground for the first time, and smiled back.

i’m thankful for my body. it may not look the way i want it to, or be able to do all the things i wish it could, but i’m grateful for it. i’ve starved it, scarred it, poisoned it and pushed it to the limit. yet it’s still here, working hard for me.

these were my thoughts as i picked up my pace, approaching the rock that marked the end of my run. i had done it again! it wasn’t beginners luck! as i slowed down, out of breath, attempting to recover, i wondered how the hell i was going to be able to run 5 times that distance. i wasn’t sure, but i would train and try, knowing that my body would do it’s best.

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