Today's my birthday. Another year in the bank. I have a lot to be thankful for. My life, my husband, family and friends. My health.
I'm reminded today of a conversation I had with some friends as we ran the Lakefront Discovery Run this fall. We were talking about the pain that comes during a race, and one of my friends said that he didn't think the pain ever got any easier to deal with. I came back with the usual response that you've all come to expect from me: that you have to push through and above the pain. That the pain of running or racing is part of the experience and something to be appreciated.
"But sometimes I think that the pain isn't worth the effort." he responded, "I'm not running to lose weight. I'm certainly not gaining muscle. I'm never going to win a big race. So why am I doing this?"
The first answer that came to me, and one I'm reflecting on a lot today is: "We do it because we can. At this point in our lives, we're healthy enough and strong enough to be able to compete in this race, and so we should give it everything we have - even if it's painful."
Sure, running feeds my competitive spirit and it keeps me in shape. But it's also a gift that my body has given me over the years - one I shouldn't take for granted.
We don't know what's going to happen to us today, tomorrow, or in the years to come. Today I'm grateful for my body and my mind and the rich life they've allowed me to have so far.