I rarely do any form of exercise after game days. Even an easy soccer game can wipe my legs, or worse, my core out. IF I feel inspired, I stick to yoga, but normally Mondays are my complete "rest days".
This morning, I felt pushed to run. I quickly got dressed in running gear, and got the boys off to school. I headed to one of my favorite places to run: North Lakes Park. This park has everything: "trails" or a "dam" overlooking the in city reservoir, gorgeous scenery, sidewalks, even a little bridge.
So, I took off on the muddy dam and ran down and around to the sidewalk loop. No problem, the wind wasn't even that bad. I felt I could go for another loop. As soon as I hit that dam, everything started hurting. Feet, legs, back, even the bruises I got from yesterday's game. I started questioning why I was even out there. In my mind, I kept telling myself, "geez, this is a rest day". The wind picked up and I started feeling the fatigue. All the walkers were unfriendly and grouchy, it seemed. I felt drained. Usually other runners' enthusiasm and friendliness always helps me keep going. Yet, I couldn't make myself stop. I felt there was a reason I was out there today of all days.
I crossed over over to the sidewalk loop, and there it was...the reason I was running today. Out doing a morning walk with her mom or friend or caregiver while the weather cool and not humid, was a cancer patient. I could tell by the low-pulled beanie she was wearing and the drawn eyes. She kept turning around to look at me approaching her. She had the biggest smile on her face. As I passed by, she clapped, cheered, and patted me on the arm like I was running a race. I stopped and turned around, smiled and squeezed her hand. Her smile was brighter than the rising sun overtaking both of us. I turned around and ran back to my car, exhausted, but elated.
I don't know if I made her day, or if she made mine.