Have you seen one of these before? I'm guessing you have. If you haven't, you've driven over them a few thousand times in your life.
I haven't done any research on them. This isn't a blog post about the complexities of the city sewer system. All I know is these ten inch wide mini manhole covers, as of yesterday, motivate me.
On June 17th myself, and a few thousand other crazies, will be running in the Canton Half Marathon. I've been training for a little over a month and on Monday I felt great. Over the weekend I ran with my friends, Scott and Shannon, and they pushed me through seven miles (figurative push) and that Monday morning I ran my fastest three miles yet. Throughout the day I had my normal run day mixture of being sore, tired, and energized all at the same time. It was an average, run of the mill, Monday in my cubicle paradise. An hour before my shift was set to end I got up for break and BOOM, I couldn't walk. I had sharp pain in my ankle that I'd never felt before.
My initial reaction was OWWWWW, combined with terrible thoughts running through my head. "Will I be able to run this half marathon?" "Will I be able to run the Chicago marathon?" "How will I get to my car/home if I can't walk?"
The next reaction was to try to walk. I walked twenty feet from my desk to the window and back and the pain subsided, slightly. This relieved me because I'd be able to get to my car under my own power. The first two questions remained.
I asked friends for prayer, filled up an ice pack, kicked my feet up, and waited for the pain to go away.
Tuesday morning was an off day in the training plan. I was walking slower than normal but I wasn't hobbling. At this point I'm walking more than normal at work because I wanted to keep testing my ankle. Nine-thirty rolled around and it was time for break. Normally on break I meet up with my pal Jermaine and walk some laps in the office while we catch up on the days events. While I was walking more than normal, I wasn't about to try a long sustained test so I compromised (with myself), and walked to his desk to talk. A few aisles down the hallway and BOOM, can't walk again. I was stopped dead in my tracks. Now I'm just annoyed.
Wednesday came. Limping quite a bit but no moments of extreme pain. I took the trash down to my apartment complex's dumpsters and ran back to the apartment, very slowly. Surprisingly enough it didn't hurt.
Thursday morning I look at my running watch and it tells me I haven't run in a while. Stupid watch... I start feeling a little better though. I'm no longer limping but I'm still walking at a turtle's pace. That night I tell Aimee my plans to run the next morning. My theory is that I will run on the ankle and it may hurt a little bit but maybe it'll knock something back in to place. She doesn't think this is a great idea, and as much as I hate to admit it, she's probably right. If you went to a doctor with sharp pain and he/she told you to run a few miles on it, saying it would set it back in place, you would find a new doctor.
Friday comes and I don't run, but strides are being made. The usual break time walk has returned. My ankle still hurts a little but it's nothing some ibuprofen can't mask. Tomorrow it's go time.
The next day I get suited up and off I go. I set a goal of three miles and a maximum of five miles (if I'm able to get to the corner of my street). I'm shocked when I don't feel anything in the ankle but I still settle on three miles because I don't want to overdo it after missing almost a week. And then at two and a half miles I stop. I'm not winded. My ankle is fine. My hip is very sore, and has been throughout the training plan, but it's nothing I haven't run through before. I was feeling sorry for myself. Things weren't going as planned.
That's when I look down and see one of those small covers that simply say "WATER". Then another. Then another. Throughout the week I've had moments that have stopped me in my tracks and made me question things, but at this moment I'm stopped by an answer. I was reminded why I'm running. It's not for an improved finishing time, the medal, or the t-shirt. I'm running to provide water for those around the world who need it, in the name of Jesus Christ. Feeling this fire within, I set out on a dead sprint. No watch is tracking my speed. I have no goal or distance. This is how things should be. It isn't a hobby, or a pursuit of athletic glory. It's ministry.
With that being said, there's an update involving ministry with Active:Water. A couple weeks ago I was accepted as a team leader for AW. I will be sharing AW's mission, fund-raising, and recruiting a team of runners to run the 2013 Canton Half Marathon. I'm hoping there will be a lot of first time runners interested to run a race of this magnitude, and to do it to further God's kingdom. Because I've been in the same position.
In closing, this week I've been taught that I need to get myself out of the way. And today being Mother's day is a great way to further this lesson. I've done nothing to deserve the wife I have. She's an amazing wife, mother, and friend. A song I've heard recently said it best "I was always looking for a 10 but then I found the one" Happy Mother's day babe!