Strength to Love
In our wedding vows, Amanda promised never to make me run a 5k.
Which is strange, unless you had run the 5k we did when we were dating. I should preface this by saying I know we have some runners in here. A couple of marathoners, even. I am not one of you. I have tried to be. I did Couch to 5K. I have run 2 5Ks in my life. I just never get to that place where running is fun. I’ve never experienced the fabled ‘runner’s high’. Only the runner’s “Dear God I can’t feel my legs, please merciful death come swiftly for me.”
So anyway. Amanda and I ran a 5K.
It was bad.
Not for Amanda. She was great. In fact, given that she stayed with me the whole time, I think it was pretty easy for her.
About ? of the way through the race, I wasn’t running anymore. I was moving at the pace of a shambling zombie, but I was still moving like I was running. Does that make sense? No, but all of my brainpower was dedicated to keeping me from falling over.
A power walker passed us, and commented on my pathetic form. Which didn’t help.
And I’m sure you already know this, but I got a participation medal. Which felt a little insulting. But I finished that 5K. It took me 45 minutes (which I seriously think is slower than a walking pace). But I finished.
I share that story because today marks the end of our Journey to Love experience. We’ve spent two months considering what love is and how we live lives that are more full of love. For some of us, that comes pretty easily. This has been an exciting, energizing series.
But others of us come to love sort of like I come to running. It’s brutal. We want to be better, but it’s a struggle. Maybe to be honest with ourselves or honest with other people or honest with God.
But here’s the thing: a journey to love is a lot like me running a 5K: you don’t have to go fast. You don’t have to run. It can be as ugly as it needs to be. We just have to keep going.