A Walk In The Woods

Today I did something I didn’t want to do. Our team didn’t walk at work during lunch (training for the 3-Day Walk in October) so I went by myself after work. I didn’t want to, I really didn’t want to. I wanted to be lazy and go home and relax on my Friday afternoon. But I didn’t. I went to the park, put on my iPod Nano with my Bose earbuds, started the Nike+ and off I went. And what happened?

It seemed like every step of the way it was confirmed that I really am supposed to be walking the 3-Day and that I am on the right path. The trail I took is in a county park. In the spring, this park is teeming with Little League softball game players, parents, coaches, walkers, runners, etc. Today, however, at 4:00 p.m. on a Friday afternoon in January, it was very quiet. Most of the people at the park were on the walking/running trail. I started off and by .5 miles, I still didn’t want to do it. I came around the corner and up ahead was a mother and her little girl. Too cute in her little brightly colored, striped tights! Her mom was snapping photos and the little girl kept looking behind herself at me. I passed them going up a hill and I kept going.

At .75 miles, my cell phone went off and when I looked, it was one of my team members encouraging me to keep going. How awesome! So I kept chugging.

At about 1 mile I was enjoying the scenery and all of a sudden a hawk, sitting in the woods, took flight and started soaring above me. I was quickly reminded of one of my favorite Bible verses:

“But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.” Isaiah 40:31

So I kept going.

At 1.5 miles I was halfway through the distance I wanted to go. I kept going so I would go just a *little* further than the day before. In my head I was debating only going the 1.5 and stopping. But I went 3.01 the day before and wanted to go further than that…so I turned around to go the other way back and kept going.

Soon thereafter, it dawned on me that I had to go all the way back around to get to my car; no stopping now. My iPod got quiet and I thought it had stopped, but then “I Run for Life” came on. I started thinking about why I’m really doing this. Aunt Laura, who had breast cancer that spread to her other organs, died in 2006. She was a wonderful mother, sister, aunt and grandmother. She is sorely missed; I miss her. My own grandmother died when I was younger and Aunt Laura filled her place for many years. I am walking for her. I am walking for my hairdresser’s mother who just had breast cancer. With all the advances in detection, she found her cancer early. She found it in Stage I and had a double mastectomy, no chemo, no radiation. I’m walking for her. I have a 16-year old niece, a 9-year old niece, and a 17-month old niece. I’m walking for them.

So that got me back around to about 2.5 miles. For the other .6 miles or so that I walked, I walked for me. I walked knowing that I have been through much the past three years and that I am still strong and actually can do this. There are those who can’t, those who think they can’t and those who know they can’t. And then there are just simply those who can. I’m one of those. I can do this. And every step of the way, God is reminding me that I can and why I can and how I can.

If you are reading this, and think I can, let me know. I need all the encouragement I can get. If you are reading this, there’s something you can do too that you maybe think you can’t. With God, you can do anything…absolutely anything! Take a walk in the woods; you never know what you might find!

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