Only six of us showed up to soccer last night, so after an exhausting forty-five minutes of World Cup (and the loss of one player who had to get up early this morning), everyone kind of wanted to play basketball instead. Basketball? OK, I still have vivid memories of the last time I tried to play basketball - I didn't know what the heck I was doing, I was surrounded by about a billion people, it was one of my classic sports-torture moments where all I wanted to do was hide somewhere and cry. Absolutely, totally miserable. Even after I started playing soccer, and learned a bit of volleyball, and began running, basketball was still firmly outside of my comfort zone. I mean, way outside. Like no, I will not consider playing it, thank you anyway.
But five people is just not enough to play soccer, and none of us wanted to go home, so what else were we going to do? "If y'all want to teach me how to play," I told my friends, "and if you'll bear with me when I start crying ... then OK."
But you know what? No tears. Michael gave me an EXCELLENT two-minute explanation of basketball and how to dribble and how to shoot. By the way, another vivid memory - trying to dribble a basketball down the pavement in grade school gym class - it just seemed impossible! I could not get the hang of it. Oh man, gym class, how I hated it ... anyway, last night was a different story. I was able to kind of get the basics of the game, enough to play in our little three-on-two game ... and I made a few good passes. And I actually got the ball in the basket once. And, I had fun. That is really the most amazing part. And it's really quite a tribute to Michael, Sarah, Justin and Kyle ... it's really amazing to me, to have friends who love me so much that they'll play a game with me that I barely know how to play, and that they can break through this terrible lifelong barrier I've had and actually help me have fun playing basketball. Amazing. Can I overuse that word a bit more? Amazing. Amazing. Amazing.
In other news ... running is still hard. The Sunburst 10K is 19 days away and I continue to have LOTS of trouble jogging even a mile without stopping to walk. As I told Pete the other day, at the rate I am currently going - and many people can literally walk faster than I am jogging - it will take me an entire two hours to finish the 10K. "And that," I told him, "is just not acceptable." Not just because it would be a ridiculously embarrassing time, but also because I really don't want to be running for that long of a time! Running doesn't feel very good, and I don't really want to feel that way for two hours.
But for some reason, today I feel differently about it. I've mapped out the run I plan to do tomorrow morning - three miles up Riverside and back - and it probably will take me two hours, and I'm just going to be OK with that. I don't know why running has been so bad lately, and I don't know if it will ever get better, but I'm going to do it anyway.
OK, so go back to that last paragraph and erase that "for some reason" part. I know the reason. Yesterday was Pentecost, so at our People of Praise meeting we got into small groups and prayed over one another, and among other things, one thing I asked for prayers for was that the Lord would help me with running. JUST NOW as I was writing all this I realized this is his answer. He's (probably) not going to magically make me a better runner, but he will pull me through and jog with me for the whole two hours.