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.