Heading into week two I was a little scared. Our run would be 2.5 miles and include some hills. Real hills. My only hill in Holland Patent on my village run is the middle school bus circle. I think I'd be more honest calling it a rise. It's not a hill. So I laced up, got a windbreaker to combat rain and was off. We ran Culver Ave which has a long gradual hill. I was told it was 1 of 2 hills on this particular run. Because I'm being honest, it was kicking my butt!
I decided it was better to just look down rather than ahead so I wouldn't get discouraged. I fell into pace behind another runner from go the distance, Katie. I was huffing and puffing but Katie seemed to be going along just fine. I was looking down, at our shoes when I remembered. I have only been getting to know my team mates, but I remembered Katie from the week before. Katie was running on a prosthetic leg. Running behind her you would never know. She is strong and runs with a nice pace. I stayed behind her up the hill and was thinking about all the challenges she must have faced getting to this point. Life is meant for the abled. The differently abled have to always adjust, plan ahead, and work harder. Katie's hips and other leg must have to work harder. I wanted to quit running up this hill. It was hard, my breathing was struggling and there was another hill coming. Only I stayed behind Katie and thought how if she could do it, I had no excuse. 2 feet to hit the pavement and a world without challenges, I could do this. I'm sure she didn't know I was running in her shadow, but I really appreciate her passion, her strength, and her perseverance. It got me up the hill. My entire team is pretty inspirational. We were waiting for our last runner to come in, no runner left behind, and Jason rolled out to meet her and ride her in. I was wondering in that moment why I hadn't found a group of people like this sooner. These are my kind of people!
I ran again Saturday at SUNY IT. Rolling hills they call them, I still call them hard, but as I ran I again found my mind wandering to people who don't have it easy. The people from Boston who lost their lives, who lost limbs, part of who they were. I am so blessed to have my health. No excuses as I train my way to a 15K. 2 feet to hit the ground, clear mind, healthy body. Heading into week 3 to run 3 miles I vow to train as hard as I can. Hills, here I come. You don't scare me!