Saturday, January 7, 2023

Well, It Looks Like We're Off to a Good Start

Hey y'all! My Achilles tendon is healing up nicely, thanks for asking. Very minimal pain. No problem stretching it. I am working out almost daily in order not to lose the measure of fitness I gained in 2022. I think I'm making progress. I knew the real test would come when I ran my first race of the new year. Well, that happened today. The race was held in Cary, NC, at the official Wake County cross country course. As you can imagine, the course was a bit daunting, as in hilly mountainous. You had the option of running either a 5K or an 8K. A total of 346 runners chose to do the 5K. Since I enjoy longer distances, I opted to do the 8K along with 60 other runners. I loved this race. It was great running weather. The race was well organized. The lines for the porta-potties were short. But what I loved most about this morning was the sheer act of running in my community, surrounded by people who love the sport as much as I do. I love how running brings us all together regardless of our age or ability. I was the only male over 65 running today. This meant getting passed regularly. Still, I was proud of myself for not going out too fast and for maintaining a manageable pace throughout the 5-mile course. I like to stay calm, reflect on my journey to get to the starting line, be grateful to God for the ability to run, focus on having fun and enjoying the experience, and be comfortable with the fact there will always be runners who are faster than me and other runners who will be slower than me. 

Today's shakeout run was perfect for dusting off the cobwebs and evaluating the status of my quads, glutes, knees, calves, tendons, and feet. I am grateful to report that they all passed muster with flying colors. I think that bodes well for the rest of 2023. After the race I drove to my favorite Ethiopian restaurant in Cary for some delicious kai wat. Here the staff treats its guests like they are royalty. 

Eating Becky's favorite dish brought back so many happy memories of times gone by. Here we are in 2004 on our very first trip together to the land of her youth. Isn't she beautiful? 

Little did we suspect that this would turn out to be the first of 14 trips that she made and 17 that I made. Over lunch, it was neat thinking about all the kingdom work the Lord gave us to do as a team for all those years. 

I think I probably took her and those days of ministering together for granted too much. You hear it all the time, so much so that it's become a cliche. But it's true: "Live each day as if it were your last." Stop making excuses for your life not being what you want it to be. Life is about choices. Make each one count. I'm going to try to do just that in the new year. 

In the meantime, I've been planning out the next 6 months or so. When I say "planning," what I mean is choosing all the fun things I want to do either with myself or with my family. Of course, you also have to plan out boring things like tax preparation and changing the air filters in the house, but those things never change from year to year. My racing calendar is starting to fill up but I'm not quite ready to share it with you yet. 

Stay tuned!