It never fails.
Once a year…once a summer, I go on a trail run that turns into something much more.
I always love running. It’s therapeutic every time I go. But there’s a time when I’ve been carrying heavy things for far too long, and the running (or the mountains) break me open.
This morning’s run was a short, steep lung-burner. I do it once a week, simply to challenge that voice that says “You hurt now. You should walk.” At the top of the trail, there is a water crossing. I’m often alone when I run here, even though it is in close proximity to the town where I live.
As I crested the top of the trail, I was suddenly overcome.
Tears. Surprising because I wasn’t feeling sad. Not surprising because, yes, this has happened before. So I had to smile and say, “Hello, old friend. It’s nice to see you again.”
I stood in the water and listened to it flowing around me. I thought of the run I went on last week, where I had powered downhill into a ravine and found myself in a mass of white butterflies. It was magical then, but now I felt like they were messengers.
Butterflies are the most beautiful representation of transformation I can think of, and this morning, I knew one thing.
A transformation was taking place.
Everything was more vibrant. I soaked up my surroundings. I listed all of the things I was truly grateful for. I chose joy.
I’ve lost two very dear women to me over the last year. Business isn’t always fun. Being a mom is hard. I certainly feel anxiety and the pull to be everywhere and do everything.
Today I choose joy.