Saturday, September 12, 2009

The Thankful Runner

I can't say it as fact, but I have a sneaky suspicion that neither Martha Stewart or Julia Childs were runners. I am pretty confident that the editors of "Southern Living" and "Beautiful Home" are not either.

I was in the line at the grocery store and in a feeble (failed) attempt to avoid the chocolate, I began perusing the magazines. It took me about 15 seconds to come to the decision that those magazines are not written for runners and triathletes. It took me about 20 seconds to realize, how funny it was that that was my first thought....

I flipped open to a page showing a beautiful home. It was just gorgeous. Oh, how I would love to own a house like that, so perfectly positioned on a grassy hill with a sprawling yard......sigh! The article went on to show pictures and detail every room, and with each flip of the page my heart sank as I realized that this house was not for me, the runner. The fine entryway with the steps leading to the front door simply would not do. How can a girl be expected to walk up those things after a 22 mile run? The rich, dark hardwood floors would be destroyed by my three running mates-- two black labs and a catahula. Not to mention the fact that I couldn't possibly walk across them dripping sweat and mud! And really, how silly would the porcelain bathroom fixtures look with my sweaty shorts and sports bras hanging from them dripping onto the marble floors? I can just see me plopping down on the floor post-run and stretching while my stench embedded itself in the luxurious carpet.

I closed the magazine, made my purchases, and went home. I pulled up to my simple home with the yard that needs to be mowed. It's so hard to get to that pesky yard work after a Saturday morning spent running. I opened the door to the sound of 12 humongous paw running towards me, slipping and sliding across the tile. I walked past the ball of fur collected in the corner and stepped over one of the three cats winding through my legs. I picked up the towel I had used to wipe the mud from my legs after a bike ride and sat on the couch to realize it was still wet from where I sat on it this morning before I changed. And as the leftover sweat seeped into my jeans and the dogs fought for my affections and I took in the pile of sand next to the 4 pairs of running shoes under the coffee table, I knew I couldn't be luckier. I am exactly where I am supposed to be.... it may not be in Beautiful Homes Magazine and it may not be every person's dream home but if they made a magazine of homes for runners, my house would be on the cover.

Sometimes, it's hard to be thankful. It's hard to remember that the grass is not greener on the other side and to be content with where I am right now, in this moment. Today I am overly aware of the blessings in my life. Almost a year ago, I lost my job. Since then, so much has changed. I didn't even know how well I had it. I never even considered how fortunate I was or that I should be thankful for what I had. And the best part is that even though I am living now on less, my life is so much fuller and richer than ever before. You can't buy that.

My dogs are all lying at my feet right now, twitching and dreaming. I had a glorious run in the rain, my belly is full, my body is nourished and my spirits are high. I have everything I need right here and I couldn't be more thankful.