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This morning, I went for a “run”. I call it this because I’m trying to be more consistent in my activity level but it seems weird to say I went on a walk/run. One day I hope it turns into a run/walk and then just a run but for now my “run” will do. Today I chose to run a different path. It meant I would do 2 miles instead of 3 but I would face this hill that I have been avoiding going up (I usually go down it on my 3 mile run). I’ve been avoiding it because my friend said it is difficult, it looks difficult and a dog has chased me in that location before so it makes me nervous.

The first half mile is downhill and then its pretty flat for the next half mile. Then I turn around and head toward this obstacle I’ve been avoiding to finish the second mile. When I hit the beginning of the steeper incline I stopped looking as far ahead. I only looked about three feet ahead of me, found my pace and went one step at a time. I was thinking it wasn’t bad at all and I didn’t know what I had been so worried about. Then it got really difficult unexpectedly fast. Within my three foot range of sight I’d been keeping I could see the top of the hill. It didn’t even seem that steep but I was out of breath, heart pounding, so sweaty but standing my ground and I hadn’t even been running up this thing. Did I mention I’m out of shape and it’s a big hill? Then, I hear this voice in my head. You know the voice I’m sure. It’s a voice that often has great advice, says profound things you wouldn’t usually say and is the complete opposite of the negativity that often sneaks in. I call that voice God but you might call it your conscience or the universe or something. As, I’m writing this I will call my wise voice God. I hear him say, ” It’s always the hardest right before you get to the top.” I just smiled, kept going…and also text my mom because I always tell my mom or husband cool things. Don’t worry I maintained my pace.

I start school in three weeks for the first time in seven years and this time I have a husband, and two very young little girls. This has been not just a hill in my mind but an exciting, nerve wracking, doubt and joy inspiring mountain. I’ve felt the same about my running attempts. For the first time in my life, I’m like yes I can do this! It will be hard but worth it! I felt like this statement was for months maybe years down the road but I feel encouraged now. I can expect hard work and hard moments in life but the top brings a sense of pride and accomplishment. The top can bring beauty. The top brings positive change. The top brings rest and with it readiness to find the next hill to climb, the next accomplishment.

I’m excited to keep “running” my new route because every time I climb that hill I will be reminded that whatever I’m doing is worth it! I’m worth this work so is my family and my dreams. I know that the top of the hill is within my reach. I’m exhausted but accomplishment is only three feet away!

If you’re reading this I think this statement is for you too:

“It’s always the hardest right before you get to the top.”

but I’m going to add…you’re almost there. You can do it!


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