Sunday afternoons are some of the best days to run. Nothing quite so wonderful as waking from a long Sunday afternoon nap, yawning and stretching and then lacing up for a gentle easy long run. This afternoon, I decided I needed a different route. A change of pace. I needed something new to look at since I was running this long run on my own. I decided to run the streets of Eatonton.
Most of the time, I run around my house out in the country, or in Milledgeville, close to work. It had been a long, long time since I ran in Eatonton. I love this little town. I met the man I love and had his babies while living in this town. I have run these streets countless times. Sometimes I ran by myself in the early morning hours while the sun was coming up, other times, in the late evenings. Sometimes I have been bundled up with a hat and gloves with long tights on, stripping layers as I ran, then circling back in my car to pick up the shed wardrobe. Other times I have run in a t-shirt and shorts and feeling the full effect of the muggy Georgia summer.
This afternoon, I ran down a side street and for the life of me, could not remember the last time I had run on it. I decided it had to have been over ten years ago. I remembered that I ran it with Baby Girl when she was in a stroller. It made me smile to think of those days when I was running for no greater reason than to shed baby weight. I smile because I’m not sure if I can still categorize these extra pounds as baby weight since she is now a senior in high school.
I ran these streets when I was a young woman with a fiery temper. I would diffuse some angry words for The Mister and sometimes I would run so he could diffuse. Somehow a run was able to burn off the anger, still does. Sometimes I ran just to get away from two little girls who needed me constantly. Running seemed to add patience as much as it took away frustrations.
I ran these streets and talked to God. Sometimes I asked Him why. Sometimes I cried at His goodness. Sometimes I told Him no and within a few days, ran again in the same spot and told Him yes after all. He has talked to me on these streets of this quiet little town.
Not too much excitement goes on these days on these streets. People live and love and die. Babies are born and funerals are held. On Sunday afternoon, you may even see a middle-aged woman running. She is sweating for all she’s worth. She no longer runs to get rid of the baby weight. She rarely runs now to avoid an argument with her Mister. They find that it’s just easier to love than fight, to be happy than to be right. She does not run to get a breather from the kids. She misses them and wishes, sometimes, that she was pushing that little stroller with the bald baby that clapped her hands and said “Go Mama, go fast.” These days she runs for her heart and to keep diabetes at bay. She runs to clear her mind. She runs because she can. She runs to talk to God. They still have their best conversations on the road.
On a hot muggy Georgia Sunday afternoon, she runs and runs and still cannot outrun that summer thunderstorm that beats her to the car. She slows and just walks the last few yards in the rain. No need to rush. She lets it wash away the sweat and reminds herself to run these streets more often.