Two years ago, my household took a trip to Weko beach. Jenny and I climbed the stairs up the dunes and I remember dragging my feet up the steps, reaching for more breath that just wasn't there ... not fun at all. So when I went to Weko with some friends yesterday, I was gearing up for quite a climb. I wanted to do it, because I'm in my can-do phase of life (I can play soccer and volleyball, I can swing dance, I can run ...), but I was not looking forward to huffing and puffing in front of all my friends. But we started climbing up the steps and wow, this isn't too hard yet, it must just be up near the top ... before I knew it we were at the top, gazing across the lake at Chicago, and sure I was a little winded, but -
I am stronger than I used to be.
I don't know how to put this into words for you. I didn't know that I could actually become stronger and more fit. Really! Of course I knew that exercise puts you in better shape. But I never imagined that I would actually be running twice a week and playing soccer every Sunday night - I never imagined that exercise would ever be a part of my life. That's just not who I was. And I'm not exactly Sporty Spice now either, but - I'm becoming different. I want to play soccer, and I want to run, and I'm open to new challenges.
(A friend who thought he knew me well enough said that he would only go out dancing with our group if I would run a 5K. "It's a deal," I told him. "Crap," he said.)
I've been amazed all along that after twenty-five years I have just up and changed my life in ways that are, to me, really big. How could I possibly be running? But in the midst of that amazement, I never really stopped to think that all this would actually make me healthier. So when I reached the top of the dunes at Weko, it was a revelation to me, and a gift from God:
I am stronger.