The other half of the Running Duo here! This week I wanted to say a few words about gratitude.
After I run, I always try to say a little prayer of thanks. I like to say this particular prayer out loud – so it’s not just a passing thought, but a truly verbalized acknowledgement. Of course, I don’t usually do this if I’m running with someone. Prayer is, after all, a private thing and I don’t want to seem “weird” or “too earnest”. But after one particularly chilly winter run, I did share my prayer with Nora, who didn’t seem to think it was “too weird”. It isn’t just a middle-aged woman’s gratitude – though that will come as Nora and I pursue this dream of running a half-marathon in every state, a task that will probably see me into my sixties and then some – but just a sense of wonder and recognition that I am blessed with good health and a very serviceable set of limbs. I know I am lucky. But I forget. And even though there are lots of races for worthy causes – all of which remind us to be thankful, I think it’s also nice to remember on those daily runs, when your are alone with intrusive thoughts and maybe letting small things get you down. It’s worth remembering that it’s a blessing just to be out there moving.
So this is the prayer:
Thank you, God, for my feet…my ankles… my knees… my hips – my heart… my lungs. (Sometimes I add something about the weather, but there’s been a little less of that lately as we in the Northeast have been getting a good dose of cold (not fun, but runnable) and snow and ice (more difficult to ignore).
I usually say this as I am cooling down, walking around our dead-end circle, sipping some water. I have turned off my music and I try to hear the birds, or listen to the silence. It’s that moment when I suppose I am experiencing that runner’s high – and perhaps it’s this that clears my formerly jittery mind enough to wake me up to the fact that I need to be grateful. Whatever the reason, I am grateful to be reminded – to be grateful…
Other things I am grateful for:
Almond butter and fig jam on whole wheat toast.
My Bodum milk frother.
Ten normal looking toe nails – over a year to recover from last year’s damage. (Hopefully my new Saucony sneakers will help with that.)
A hot bowl of delicious red lentil soup (recipe to come!)
My #1 Running Buddy, Nora.
What are you grateful for?