the trail that I run on runs right across the street from Southwest Early College Campus. It's a beautiful building, all limestone and windows...but as most kcmo schools, filled with students who are struggling.
Lately I've seen Southwest kids running on the trail after school. There are two teachers who (I'm assuming here) have started an after school running club. I LOVE running by these kids. Seeing them exploring something I love makes my heart explode. Knowing the purpose and strength and discipline running, heck, any sport can give them makes me smile. Everyday it's the same crew. There's the girl with the cat ear headband who says "hi" every time she sees me. The young guy who is always way ahead, with the most determined face I've ever seen. These kids run in regular shoes. Regular clothes. A far cry from most of the Garmin pacing, dry-fit wearing runners that usually occupy the trail (I'm totally in that latter category-lest I judge).
Earlier this week all the students were running together. There was one guy-he looked more like a lineman than a runner-who was running toward the end of the pack. I loved that he didn't fit the stereotype, yet was still out there doing the work. As I passed by him I heard him saying under his breath "heel-toe. Heel-toe. Heel-toe."
I almost lost it. How many times have I been on the trail doing WHATEVER it took to keep going? How many times have I wanted to quit only to convince myself that I could make it to the next street. The next block.
Sometime life feels like that. Doing anything I can to make it to the next day. Out of breath. Tired. Worn out. Knowing I can make it, but just slightly afraid I can't. it's those times when i most want to give up, that doing the work matters. Staying the course. Taking a new grip with tired hands. How ever you want to say it-it's all the same. Heel-toe. Heel-toe.
And then. I thought I was through. Done. over it. Then, before I even know it. I've changed old habits. Believed new truths. Acted differently. ran more miles than I can count. Not through fancy gps watches and heart monitors and clothes that wick sweat. Nope. Just like linebackerturnedrunner southwest guy. heel-toe.