On Tuesday night I swam for the first time in a long time. I have been swimming recently, but I haven’t done a real swim–if you can call 2000 yards a real swim–for several years. When I first hopped into the water, I was a little uncertain about the outcome of the evening. To say the least, when I figured out that I could still swim a 500 in under ten minutes, I was completely shocked! I did kicks, pulls, and some straight-up swimming. I started off with a little warm-up and then swam two, 500-yard crawls, then I switched it up with some kicking and pulling, before easing out of the pool with a small cool down. It felt good. My body remembered the water, the motion, the groove.
When I came into class tonight, one of my students, Stephanie, told me that she saw me at the pool on Tuesday. She was in the lane next to mine. I have to say that she is faster than I am, but I am not ashamed because I am 35-fucking-years-old and S-L-O-W. But, I am going again tonight.
I woke up this morning before the sun and ran my four miles. It was only 45 degrees when I got up, and the leaves blanketed the sidewalks and roads with their crunchiness. I warmed up to a sweat pretty quickly and was glad that I had opted to leave the long-sleeved shirt in the house. For the first two miles, my legs felt stiff and uncooperative, but then I settled into my pace for the third mile. For some reason my last mile is always hard, but I continually pull through.
This morning the fall weather helped because I was on my own quest for solace and rejuvenation. As I began I prayed for a moment, asking for quiet and peace. I was given leaves. Every fall I am given leaves, and I accept them graciously as God’s own gift to me. I realize in my heart of hearts that God didn’t make the beauty of fall just for me, but I like to fantasize that [They] might have, especially when the leaves crunch and the wind blows and the sun rises up slowly, softly over the river.
I used to think that the sunrise was the only good thing about getting up early, and, realistically, it wasn’t good enough for me to get out of bed on a regular basis. In the past few weeks, though, I have realized that the sunrise is the first good thing about getting up early. The second is the silence of the morning. Particularly on Saturday and Sunday, at 5:30 or 6:00 in the morning there are no cars or other people. When I get up that early, I have the birds, the breeze in the tress, the animals scurrying along the river bank, and the occasional dog barking in a yard to myself. I don’t have to share it with anyone else. Third, there is a certain level of peace that hovers over Muncie in the dark, in the quiet. There is a presence of God’s greatness that exists undisturbed. And, it is beautiful. It gives me peace.
I run my first road-race, a 10K, on October 10. It is called Soles to Souls and part of my entry fee will be refunded if I donate gently used shoes that will be distributed to those in need. My second race, a 5-mile trail race, will be on November 1 in Anderson, and I will run with Adam and William. I hope I can finish it, because I have heard that it kicks your ass.
Work is going well. I take my oral exams next Friday, September 25 at 10 AM. I am nervous, but I think I will be fine.
Do you need some gently used shoes to give? We probably have some. (I am asking because you don’t usually have ‘excess’ and I would have figured you had already donated any shoes you had to donate.)
We are coming to your race. It’s on the calendar.
I must say you were pretty legit at swimming! I was shocked to see you. I had no idea you swam. I actually think I only swam 3300 that night.. gosh now I feel ashamed since you are 35 and I am 19 I should be cranking out way more. I used to swim 7500 in one practice! well I am trying to swim every night so maybe I will see you again sometime!!
Yeah, I only swim about a mile and a half. My secret is that I am training for a triathlon, so the speed doesn’t matter so much to me. What matters more is that I will be able to swim a mile in open water in under 45 minutes. I can do it for sure in the pool, but the open water may slow me down quite a bit.
Corby I could not agree more with you,about the morning. Every Tuesday and Thursday I get up and go running and it is the most peaceful and relaxing thing. I LOVE being up when no one else is, its so nice. Its like you have the whole morning to yourself and God. You used such good imagery in this piece,it was like I was there and saw what you saw. I love running as well, and although I do not always like to do once I start I love it and really enjoy it. I think you did well on your swimming. I used to swim, but I was just awful at it. A 500 would take me forever to do! I always hated swimming that on swim team. I’m guessing you swim freestyle mostly. I swam breatstroke. I think is one of the most beautiful time of year and should be enjoyed by everyone. I hope you do well in your race, remember when you feel like you’re tired and want to give up to just pump your arms more, thats what they are there for. lol.
Ha! I will remember that sage advice!