So I ran on Saturday. Are you tired of hearing about this yet? If you are, I apologize, but you might want to quit reading here, because similes are about to be thrown around, and it won't wax poetic by any means.
As I ran, I had some technological issues. They really sent me into a fit. My headphones broke, my Nike+iPod wasn't working and the GPS was beeping every few seconds. Things were not going well, and I was only about a mile into a brutal 3 mile uphill run. I was pretty much pissed. My iPhone is lucky it didn't meet its fate at the bottom of the Provo River. Lucky for me, Sean was there to patch up my needs with his headphones and a once-over with the GPS. He pushed me (literally) up the trail to get me started running again.
I found my groove just as I got to Bridal Veil Falls. I stopped to wait for Sean and the girls and did some light stretching. The falls are gorgeous this time of year (insert photo here, you're welcome) with the heavy run off. I almost said heavy flow, how silly would that have been?
Anyway, I got thinking.
Life is so much like running. Go ahead, say "Uh, duh genius", it's fine. I can handle your ridicule.
One day you might feel like everything is working against you. Uphill, headphones falling apart, technology spitting in your face. And you just want to quit. Luckily (hopefully), most of us have someone in our lives to patch us up and push us on our merry way.
Once Sean and the girls found me, we chilled at the falls for a few minutes, then decided to head down. Emma was on her bike, so she asked if she could ride ahead of us. I was fine with that, so she started off.
I began running down, which is easier only in theory because my toes and knees were on fire, and found a good pace. I did realize a ways down the path that Emma hadn't stopped to wait for me. Hmm. I started asking people if they had seen a little girl on a pink beach cruiser.
No one had seen her.
I started to panic a little bit. I picked up the pace. Realizing probably too late that I had already run 5 miles, I couldn't run any faster, but my heart and head were rattling off several scenarios at the speed of light. Most of the scenarios involved the "Dun dun" at the beginning of Law And Order.
I started scanning the river bank for a pink bike. I started asking every person I passed if they had seen her.
Still, no one had seen her.
My feet ached, and my heart pounded. And then I realized, this is life. We feel good and happy, then suddenly, even as we coast down a hill, things can get scary again.
Finally I reached the bottom of the path and turned off to our parking spot, and there sat Emma, happy as a clam, eating a sandwich and listening to her iPod.
I have never felt such relief in my life. 6 miles under my belt, 3 uphill and hard, and 3 downhill and terrifying. Imagine.
We stopped and had some lunch with her, and tried not to lay into her about getting lost because she didn't think she had even done anything wrong. Which, in her defense, she didn't because I told her she could ride on ahead. I guess I need to be more specific.
As lunch wrapped up, I had some nervous energy to expend, so I tackled another mile down the trail and had Sean pick me up. 7 miles. That last mile I really started thinking about how much we struggle through life, just as in running, but when we look back on what we accomplished, all we really remember are the good feelings and the progress.
I guess that's why we keep at it. Both running and life.