Last week:

We slide open the backdoor and step outside and then we stop. It’s still dark. Summer has gone and the sun is rising later and later.

“It’ll soon be light,” I reassure the girls and we continue walking down to the park.

“Look! A full moon!” Charlotte cries. We are walking down to the park to go running under a full moon.

“How many mothers would let their children get up at an hour when everyone else is still tucked up in bed, and go running in the dark?” I ask. “How many children get to run under a full moon?” We are adventurous. We are runners. We are The Team.

We drop our water bottles on the bench and march off into the bush.

“We need some of those lights you wear on your head,” someone observes. But we manage.

After a couple of laps the sky starts to lighten.

“Look at that!” I cry. Is the bush on fire? No. It's the sun rising behind the gum trees. It's a glorious sight.

I may not be running as far as I'd like but I am with my girls. I am part of the team. We are out in the bush at daybreak, witnessing a beautiful sunrise.

And that feels very special.

This morning:

We leave home a few minutes later than normal. The sun is already rising. We drop our bottles and head into the bush.

I run a lap, and one lap turns into two. Two laps turn into two and a half... and I feel wonderful. I've never run so far. I take a short break and then run another lap and another. I am satisfied. That was a good run. I decide to walk a cool-down lap.

The girls run past me and suddenly I don’t want to walk. I decide to tuck in behind them and run one more lap. We run over the sand, past the ocean and the pyramid, round the bend and along the flat, up the steep slope and along the straight. Our starting point comes into sight and I am still with the girls. We swing around the trees and back to our water bottles: one lap completed. But I don’t stop. 

“I won’t run much further with you,” I tell the girls. 

A lap later I am still running. We weave in and out of the trees, our feet pounding along rhythmically. We come to a puddle and form a single file and then we spread out again. The girls glance over their shoulders. I am still with them. I am still part of the pack. 

"I can't run much further," I pant to the girls.

But I head back down the track with the pack for another lap. Finally I slow down and let the girls continue without me. Wow! Do I feel good!

“Did you see me run?” I ask the girls as we head home.

“You did so well, Mum!” They smile indulgently at me. I grin back.

“4.8 kms and I hardly walked any of it!” I am on a high. I can almost taste that I-Can-Run-Forever Feeling. I am going to get there. I just know it.

I love getting up early and starting each day with the girls. I love stumbling down the tracks in the dark, watching the sun rise, working hard together, sharing our progress, encouraging each other... I'm part of the team. And now... I’m also part of the pack.

And that feels very special.

Another running story? I couldn't help myself. I am still smiling as I think of this morning's run. I want to remember my excitement forever. 

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  1. Congrat's - that's awesome! Has me wishing for a nearby park...

    1. Hi Beate,

      I've had moments of discouragement lately when I've thought I will never get as fit as I'd like. If I didn't have the girls to run with I would have given up ages ago. Anyway, I was so excited yesterday. It was like suddenly finding I had a higher gear to slip into. Probably no one wants to hear about how many laps I can run but I couldn't help sharing!

      Thank you so much for your kindness in stopping to congratulate me.

  2. Sue, I'm so impressed by your perseverance! I remember going running with you, once. I think I collapsed, at the end of the first block, and decided to give up food, instead. You were just a speck, in the distance, and look at you! You're still going!!! :)

    1. Vicky,

      You've got a good memory! It must be years since we went running together. I don't remember you being left behind. Are you sure you collapsed? Perhaps that was me.

      Perseverance? So many times I've thought, "What am I doing out here, torturing myself? I could be home in bed (like sensible people)." I guess there comes a point when you have to keep going otherwise all the invested effort goes to waste.

      And you know how I like a challenge!! It's very much a personality thing.

      Thank you for making me feel so good!

  3. Hooray for you! I was walking in the evenings for a week or so - and that is a big deal for me! But, now the bugs have arrived... ick. I am thinking about my walking dvd - so, walking in place/aerobics type dvd. It would be better than nothing!! :) But, it is gooooood to feel good about the accomplishments we make! Yay You!! :)

    1. Hi Elm,

      So lovely to see you on my blog again!

      Yes, sometimes it can be difficult getting out the door due to illness or cold weather or the rain... I sometimes long for a treadmill so I can exercise inside like you when the outside conditions are poor. Then I wonder where I'd put a treadmill and I think about how quickly I'd get bored running on the spot. Maybe a DVD with an enthusiastic presenter would be more inspiring! I'd love to hear how you get on with your exercise.

      Elm, I struggle with so many things, it really does make me feel good to see progress in this particular area of my life. I couldn't help sharing my feelings of joy. I hope no one minds!

      Thank you so much for stopping and saying hello.

    2. Hi, again, Sue!

      I have done myslef a doozy... instead of just sticking to the walking dvd - which is fun (but the gal on it is a bit annoying) and a simple workout (simple that even a monkey could do it - not simple in that it doesn't give a good work out!) - I went and bout a Jillian Michaels (I think her name is) workout for beginners and I did a few of the circuits the other morning... I am a hurting unit. But, hurting in a good way in that I feel that the muscles were working and are needing to continue. WIll continue with it - but will try new circuits so as to not over stress the muscle groups that I worked the other morning! :)

      I am so glad that you shared your feelings of joy - I, for one, did not mind in the least!!

    3. Hi Elm,

      Yes, I like " hurting in a good way" too. It was good to discover muscles I'd forgotten I had and put them to work. I hope your muscles are getting used to the workout and not so painful any more. Varying the circuits sounds a good idea from a boredom point of view too. It doesn't take much for us to lose interest, does it?

      I hope you are enjoying a joyful Easter. God bless!

  4. YAY Sue! That's wonderful! Have you always been a runner? Or is this something new you've taken up?

  5. I'm not sure if my comment posted or not so here I go again... YAY Sue!! That's great that you can keep pace with your girls for such a long time! Have you always been a runner?

    1. Noreen,

      Both your comments came through and I seem to have published both of them! But that's OK. I really enjoy hearing from you.

      I was a runner years ago before children (many years ago!) I have always wanted to run again. I remembered how thrilling it felt to fly along with the breeze in my face thinking I could run forever. Now that I am getting 'old' I thought, "If I want to run, it's now or never."

      Having the girls to run with has really encouraged me. They are my cheer squad and don't mind listening when I get all excited and want to repeat exactly how far I managed to run each day. Also I just love spending that special time with them first thing in the morning.

      Thank you for your comments, Noreen.

      God bless!


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