For a few months, I’ve been weary. Weary of the world. Weary of politics. Weary of the demands that I feel like I can never meet. Weary of weary. It’s been getting harder for me to hold it in and together. I’ve felt lonely and depressed. I know I have friends, but my friends, just like me, are all in a time of busy. Our kids are busy, our work is busy, our homes are busy. We each let everyone fall to the way side while we try to man the fort at home. (I feel like I’m mixing metaphors here)
Anyway, I’d posted before that I wanted to do a 5k and had actually signed up to do it. I have a friend Emily. She’s such a wonderful person. She’s the mom to five kids. She’s our Bishop’s wife. She teaches seminary at 6:30 every morning. She’s kind and friendly. I would like to be Emily when I grow up. I told her that I had signed up for the 5K. She texts me right back with “That’s awesome!!!” with a bunch of questions and some suggestions for where I could “run”. She approached me at church and asked if she could go with me.
I must have forgotten to list her track star status in her previous qualifications. Because she is. She’s been running for as long as she can remember. She did track in middle school, high school and college. She still runs several times a week, after hot yoga. (I swear she’s a real person.) SHE RAN A MARATHON.
She went with my for my first “run”. My jog page was her walking pace. I had to stop several times to catch my breath and to get a stitch out of my side. I felt like I was holding Emily back from her run. She was a wonderful cheerleader for me, but I figured she’d want to actually get a run in at some point and not be going on brisk walks.
But she kept on texting me. “How’s training going? Are you going tonight? I’d love to join you.” After two crazy weeks, I took her up on the offer to come again.
We started our trek with our usual “What’s been going on with you” conversation. After a while we started talking about deeper things. I told her my fear of getting to the afterlife and The Powers That Be saying, “Yeah, no. You got it all wrong.” I’m an extremely liberal person in a fairly conservative church. There are parts of the doctrine I don’t agree with. I struggle with wanting to drink tea and lately, I’ve been really wanting to drink vanilla vodka, my oldest friend and foe. I feel surrounded by people who don’t have these “afflictions”. They’ve never had them so they don’t have to battle against the wants for them.
Emily told me she has so much respect for converts. It’s hard when you have to change parts of yourself. It’s hard especially when we ask different things of you. Things that people who are not part of the church think is just so weird. She thinks that converts are given extra blessings in their lives because of the hard choices they make to change their lives every day. She feels a level of respect for them for that, for seeking and finding our truth and deciding to be a part of this.
Emily, I needed to say how much your words touched me yesterday. It was a wonderful moment, even in the 90* humidity, trying to get through the last rounds of walk/jogging, to have you there cheering me on, literally and spiritually. Taking the time to remind me that I’m doing better than I probably think I am. I know you don’t get a lot of actual working out done while we do this, but having you take the effort to meet with me, between pick ups and drop offs, and encourage the person who would still really rather being watching TV on the couch. Finding out that someone I respect and aspire to be more like thinks that I’m pretty awesome was the boost I needed to help me start looking at things a little better. We are all just trying to do what we can here. I’m so grateful for our friendship. And one day our runs won’t have air quote around them. We’ll keep pace and remember how long it took me to get to 1.5 miles.