For years now I have watched a group of ladies run past my house on Sunday mornings headed for Galbraith. In the beginning I had no interest in joining the group. I had no interest in running, alone or with others. I had tried running a few times, but it never seemed fun. Walking always seemed more my speed. And I could walk a long way through any kind of weather. I was content with my walking pace. I was happy to go slow and notice what was going on around me.
About a year ago, walking stopped being enough. It happened one random night. I really like walking at night. This particular night was one of the first times since the birth of Juniper that I made it out of the house without her strapped to my back. I was walking through the park, enjoying the crisp air, and admiring the shimmer of the stars I was lucky enough to see. And then it happened. I needed to go faster. So, I started to run. I ran freely and joyfully. I was surprised at myself. I was actually enjoying running for the first time in my life.
And then it became a habit. Well, addiction is probably a better description. I needed to run and still do. I found that life is so much more manageable with a run under my belt. I can get pissed off at my husband, go for a run, and then come home with hugs and kisses for him. My kids will be driving me crazy, but running makes them seem angelic. I travel faster with running and can go places on the mountain and in the park that I never had time for with walking.
I started getting up with the sun and running in my backyard on Galbraith Mountain with some other mothers from the neighborhood. I soon learned how to keep up and felt blessed to have amazing scenery and awesome ladies at my doorstep. Last Mother’s Day, I joined a large group of women for an hour and a half run on the mountain. It took a few days to recover, but I did it. And then this past fall I ran the Bellingham Bay Half-Marathon. As I ran through the streets of Bellingham, looking out at the water, and being blown away by incredible wind, I reflected on my life here in Bellingham and saw clearly the healing and growth that enabled me to be there, running.
And today I finally joined that group of ladies, thanks to my neighbor Carol. Of course they were much faster and I questioned my sanity, but one must try. I soon decided that I would not complete the ten miles they had planned, but stick with my old faithful route. And at the junction where we would split, there was another group of ladies ready to run in my intended direction. So I joined them, found that they were of my pace, and followed them on new paths. We ran through snow with sunshine slanting through the trees illuminating the beauty of this magical winter morning. I made it home after two hours of frolicking on the mountain. I felt strong and capable and so very thankful that I landed in Bellingham. This place has given me the ability to put on my running shoes.