So, in an attempt to remind myself that I am still alive, despite the heartache of the past year, I signed up to run a local half-marathon in December. This will be my second race. My first also was a half-marathon than I ran last December to raise money for the school my son was then attending, a nonprofit inclusion preschool offering ABA therapy for children with autism.
I went for a 5-mile run on Monday. It wasn't TOO bad. I went for another today. Yikes. What happened. I was struggling.
Why is running so gosh darn hard?
Is it the lack of sleep? The poor diet? The wine the night before?
Is it the sadness?
Of course, I always have thought that running, for lack of a better word, sucks. I am not an athlete.
But last year, when I ran on behalf of my children's school, I was surprised at just how fulfilling the experience was for me. I kept thinking of all the wonderful people who donated money. Some of them didn't even know me or my family. It was as if I could feel their support at my back, giving me that little extra push.
And, most of all, I thought of my son.
How in the world could I even consider 13 miles a difficult experience when compared to the daily struggles of a child who cannot talk?
When I stop to consider how frustrating it is for my son to not be able to tell me ANYTHING through speech .... well, I find myself at a loss for words.
But, oh, how he is trying. For the first time in his life, he is trying. Really, actually trying to make sounds in an effort to communicate. And I am starting to hear some words -- little ones, not always so clear. But they are there.
I am so very proud.
So, once again, this year when I run, I will be thinking of my beautiful son.
It will be a symbolic effort on my part -- a sort of "see, my life really does gone on despite all that crap I have had thrown my way lately."
But it also will be a reminder to myself to celebrate each and every step that my son makes on that long, long journey. I do not know where he will wind up. But I know that he is not limited by any predetermined course. His accomplishments have not ended.
They are only beginning.
And I will finish that damn half marathon. Despite all of the wine.