“Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass. It’s about learning to dance in the rain!”– Vivian Greene
When I read this quote, I immediately thought about how I don’t like to run in the rain and generally hide under my down comforter, with my chihuahua, during thunderstorms. I love the sound of rain hitting my windows and roof but I don’t like the sound of thunder or the flash of lightening. I scour the local weather radar before I head out for a run because I just don’t like getting wet. Not only do I look like a wet dog but I don’t do well when I am cold- witness my total collapse during a marathon last spring where I suffered severe hypothermia.
One of my favorite friends teased my about my lack of enjoyment of running the the rain. He, and he’s a former world-class marathoner, enjoys thunderstorms- though I doubt he runs in them but he enjoys running in the rain. He calls his wet runs, his “baptism”. A few days ago, as I ran in a light, late summer shower in the very early morning, I realized and kind of understand what he enjoys; found myself laughing. Either I have matured a bit in my long-distance running training or he’s rubbing off on me in a good way.
That early morning, I was running in the extreme heat around the perimeter of my hospital as I didn’t want to get too far away if I received a page or call. The orange glow of the street lights coupled with the light fog and rain, made for a world that seemed like I was running through orange dreamcicles. The sound of passing cars, some providing a welcome splash of water for cooling, was just great. I was alone with my thoughts, the rain and my extreme gratitude in that I am able to take each step. Each step for me is pure joy and each step is taken for me to progress as a runner.
As usual, my marathon-runner friend is a great resource for me. If you knew him, you might think that he was full of himself at first glance. In reality, he’s one of the kindest and most generous people that I know. He will often give sage advice to this very green, fledgling runner in combination with a funny line that will keep me smiling for days. I am grateful for his guidance in my pursuit of my challenge to master the 26.2-mile distance. Sometimes, God puts people in your life that will always teach you to achieve more and seek more. This has been my experience with my marathoner friend. As usual, he’s brilliant and he’s right.
With every step in the 4 AM rain and fog, I learned about myself and thoroughly enjoyed the experience. I may seek out his counsel in terms of tackling the cold as fall approaches with winter not far behind. Last winter, a mild one, I was able to run outside on most days but I am not optimistic that I should be so fortunate another winter. Still, I run, I grow, I pray, and I meditate as I move through the early morning streets, alone with my thoughts but occasionally accompanied by deer. I am truly alive and very grateful for all of the gifts I have been given these days.