{a new day}

A new day, a new year.

I woke up to the sound of my alarm this morning. It’s New Year’s Day. Just like that, in the blink of an eye in some ways but yet in other ways it seems as if years have passed by within these last 52 weeks.

I rolled over, turned off the alarm and began to rub the sleep from eyes as I thought about the day. Well, actually, I started by checking Instagram. A terrible habit I am ready to break. More on that later.

I got up, ate breakfast, and began to get the girls and myself ready for the day as David fed Bernadette.

We rushed around as the minutes on the clock ticked by creeping closer to the time we all needed to be ready and out the door. I laced up my shoes and the girls climbed into the car and buckled up.

Running is a passion. Although some days especially lately, I don’t love it. But I do it because I know how good it is for my body. As someone who has in the past struggled with weight my running journey started years ago as a means to get healthy and lose the pounds. But really, it has become more than that. The energy I have now as a result of running along with lifestyle changes in eating habits plus the clearer mental sate are added bonuses. Racing is a way to not only challenge me but to keep me accountable. If I don’t train, it shows up during the race.

There has been little time to train this past year. There are many reasons why but if you read this post it will let you in on where I have been at. I have participated in a handful of racing events but lets just say there haven’t been any PR’s. I placed in my age group in one race this year but it wasn’t because my time was spectacular. It was because not many in my age group raced that particular event.

The ten minute warning call came over the loud speaker. I stretched my legs as if I had done a warm up knowing full well that a warm up that morning would be anything but helpful. I hadn’t even run a 5k distance in months. I’m lucky if I gotten to 2.5 miles.

My couple hundred closest running friends (aka strangers) gathered at the start. The faster ones right at the starting line, the rest behind, all eager with anticipation for the horn.

The horn sounds and we take off. I press start on my watch and my feet begin to hit the pavement, one foot in front of the other. My lungs feel slightly tingly as the cold air creeps in as my breathing quickly becomes deeper.

For a spilt second, I roll my eyes at myself and think, “what am I doing?” I haven’t been training. It’s cold. I’m really tired. But the excitement of race takes over and I look ahead to the twists and turns on the course.

I chose not to listen to music this particular morning. In longer races I do because it helps bring me through. Music in the shorter races can be somewhat annoying to me. I turn it up to loud, I’m not happy with my running playlist and instead of focusing on running, I find myself trying to skip songs while getting further behind. Plus, I enjoy the sounds of the race. People on the sidelines cheering, the feet on the pavement, my own loud breathing, the sound of the gravel underneath. It’s all part of the course.

This particular morning, I found myself lost deep in thought as I thought about this upcoming year. Writing the survival post on the last day of 2017 felt good. Writing to me is a way of processing and healing. It’s a way of looking ahead and being filled with excitement for things to come.

I thought about the hard moments in 2017. I thought about the dark abyss I have lost myself in. I thought about my word for this year, thrive.

Running is a journey unique to it’s own. Each run is different. Every runner is different. We bring our own unique lives to the same course and we run it the best we see fit for where we are at in our own training.

As a mom, I bring my own background, my own life experiences, my own journey unique to itself to the table. These things shape the way I raise my own kids and the family life we have. My husband and I have a marriage unique to itself as no two marriages are alike. We may have things in common like our faith or interests, but at the end of the day the things that have shaped us into who we are today are unlike others.

As I begin this year and my journey to a year of thriving through the hard, I want to encourage all of us. Our story that God has handwritten is our own. Embrace it. Embrace the good, the bad and everything in-between. We will not fully understand other’s situations completely or the hard that they face but we can love each other through it. We can pray for one another. We can offer a hug or a laugh. We can empathize and offer the same comfort we have received from our Heavenly Father to one another.

Our journeys are uniquely ours. Embrace the new year and what God has in store for you as you cling to the One who holds it all in His hands.

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