A Breath of Fresh Air

Since Ellie was born I have really struggled with running. I have given it my best effort, but have felt like I’ve fallen short compared to where I used to be. I know it takes time to get back the groove of running after having a baby. But I felt defeated after every run. I often got winded at mile 2 and hit the wall at 3 miles.

But on Monday, November 9, there was a change in the weather—and so much more.

After a busy morning in the office, I gladly welcomed my lunch break. Lunchtime is my “me time”—the one hour every day that I devote to myself. I usually spend it working out at the gym or running on campus. While I often struggle with the decision to set my to-do list aside for one hour, I know it will make my afternoon so much more productive.

With a lot on my mind, I set out for a run around campus. I put my headphones in and turned on some music that would drown out the noise of the world so I could hear myself think.

It’s okay to not be okay
This is a safe place
This is a safe place
Don’t be afraid
Don’t be ashamed
There’s still hope here
There’s still hope here

No matter what you’ve done or who you are
Everyone is welcome His arms

Just let go
let His love wrap around you
And hold you close
Get lost in the surrender
Breathe it in until your heart breaks
Then exhale

(Exhale by Plumb)

With those lyrics guiding my steps, I ran. And I ran, and I ran and I ran. I ran nonstop for five miles. Five whole miles. Five whole miles at a 9:32 pace. That is faster than any two-mile run I’ve suffered through in the past seven months.

And it felt so refreshing! Breathing in that cool, crisp fall air awakens your soul, and when you exhale you feel like you are releasing everything—the stress, worry, exhaustion, fear—you simply just let it all go.

On Monday, November 9, there was a change in the weather. And just like Stella, I got my groove back. It turns out I haven’t lost it at all; I just needed a breath of fresh air.

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