Thursday, March 06, 2014

The Lessons I Learned

Stepping out of my warm apartment this morning, ready to tackle another mile run in a fight to keep my body healthy, I groaned when I met dreary overcast skies and strong artic winds.  Where was my sunshine? After a shiver as the cold blasted me in the face, I stuck the buds in my ears, hit the play button on my iPod, and took off. 

It was a very difficult run this morning.  The winds were so strong I literally had to bend my head down and push hard just to get any forward motion.  Being really short, I already struggle with my speed.  It takes more of my short steps to reach the same distance as a taller person in the same amount of time.  When I’m running against 28mph wind gusts in 32 chilly degrees, I don’t get very far, very fast.  Needless to say, though I’m working twice as hard, I didn’t make any gains on my running goals.  I hate not making my goals.

As I ran and glanced into gray clouds, and watched swarms of leaves cascade across the ground in mighty waves, I wondered how many more days will be like this. I heard no answer.   I pushed forward with my lungs burning and my muscles aching and wondered how much longer I have to keep fighting.  The answer came instantly - always.  The fight never ends. So, I pushed a little harder and wondered what lesson I was supposed to have learned from all this adversity.  That I can take a good beating?  Guess what? I learned that lesson a long time ago.  That I can live in a world unloved and unwanted?  I’ve learned that lesson too.  That nothing is guaranteed, nothing is secure, nothing is forever?  Check, check, check. 

Well, by this time, warm tears spilled out of my eyes and turned ice cold before they reached my cheeks.  I looked up into those gray swirling clouds and inside my mind, above the noise of the music and beyond the buzz of the universe, my soul screamed, “I know that a sun sits above those clouds. I know behind this angry arctic blast is a warm whisper in the wind.  No matter how hard adversity comes against me, or how long reprieve remains silent, I will still hope, I will still believe, I will still fight, and I will still love.  And if I’m still here when the wind stops and the clouds part, I will be standing with my head held high. Do your worst.  Destroy me if you must. I will not give up.”

So, what lesson did I learn on my chilly run this morning? I’m stubborn, perhaps a big fool, and quite lonely.  It’s not good to be isolated in your own mind all the time.  I’m beginning to understand why friends are so important - they provide an opportunity to take the focus off ourselves for a few moments.  I also learned to take a jacket and wear a pair of gloves.

Till next time,

~T.L. Gray


  1. You had me every moment, feeling the weight of the cold wind on your shoulders and sharing in your struggle. And then I looked up and there was the sun to warm me and remind me to give thanks.