9th run-versary

On this day nine years ago, I officially started my journey of adult-onset fitness by finishing a local 5K in a little over 36 minutes.

Today, I celebrated the fourth day of not being in pain after injuring my shoulder about six months ago.

I’m injury free!! Yippee!!

I have been about as consistent in my fitness regime as I have my writing in this blog. That upsets me, but I have bigger things to worry about.

This run-versatile — April 28 — also happens to be my mother’s birthday.

I never really understood all my mom dealt with until I became a mother of three wonderful, yet exhausting, kids.

I wish I could say something motivating and beautiful. I worked a 15-hour shift yesterday and I’m tired. My brain is overwhelmed so, please, just hear me out.

About 30 miles from where we live, a black man was killed by a sheriff’s deputy about two weeks ago. In our state, there was 100 counties, all of which have a law enforcement agency. Inside these counties are cities, towns and villages, like the one I live in. They have their own law enforcement agencies. I don’t know all the details of the case, as they have not been revealed at this point.

I started my adult-onset running because of my children. My mom was my inspiration. They all continue to push me, but right now, I am stuck.

My injury didn’t necessarily make me lazy; it made me hyper-aware of what I did. Other muscles I wouldn’t associate with my arm twinge during certain movements, like they are making up for the issues in other muscles.

As a resident of this part of North Carolina close to the incident, you can feel an underlying tension. What if outsiders come here to town? What will all of those people who live here but work in that city do when they can’t get home because of protests?

What if the protests become violent? What if what happens upends the ideals many of us cling to?

Those are all great questions. The greater question is: What are we doing right now to make sure this doesn’t happen again?

As a mother, my heart breaks when I learn another mother’s child has been hurt. As someone who has broken bread with members of the law enforcement and military community, I question but stand back. It’s not my truth to tell, as I was not involved. But, as a mother, I can understand the struggle of worrying whether this work shift will be your loved one’s last.

As a child, I often had a hard time understanding some of what my mom did and why. She was raising us and trying to hold everything together. She worked and cared for a sick husband and her three children. She did many things that I, at this point in my life, have not had to do.

About 30 miles from my home, a mother is trying to feed her kids, while holding in her grief. A mother is preparing to bury her child, who gave her some wonderful grandchildren. No parent should have to bury their child.

About 30 miles from my home, a mother is praying that her child’s action will be deemed justified in a court of law. A mother is making dinner, and hopes she doesn’t have to worry about the media calling the house.

As a mother, I can only hope that I am a good enough example that my kids learn not to follow some of the darker paths I’ve walked down.

As a daughter, I can see that you never really stop being a mother to your children. The relationship changes. For many families, the adult children become your friends, but with that extra caveat.

The part of North Carolina I live in is beautiful but also holds a painful past. Some hold onto that past like it lives today. The past is gone and the future uncertain. All we have is now.

As a mother, I hope to leave things to my children better than I received it. My implied duty is to help my children see the world through new eyes — their own — so they can form opinions that are more truthful to their present circumstances than the opinions deeply rooted in the past.

Anyone, of any shape or size, can be fit. Fitness is not just of the body, but of the mind as well. There is also a fitness in terms of empathy, being able to relate to fellow human beings.

As I start moving toward my 10th run-versary, I can feel that this year will be different. Very different. I just don’t know how yet.

I must concentrate on making the now the best it can be, because I can’t change the past. My future or my children’s future is not guaranteed.

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