Monday, December 16, 2013

Running on the ROAD!

This week, after years of asking, weeks waiting for the mace, and, sell, several minutes spent watching mace (pepper spray) videos, I went running. By myself. On the road! Monumental occasion? I think yes!

Okay, so in all honesty, my first run wasn’t alone. Once Blaize found out that I was going running by myself on the road, he decided he needed to come with me. He tried to convince mom that I wasn’t ready, but when that didn’t work, he just decided to join me. Though we didn’t run particularly far (and he wanted to clarify that my “running” was actually “jogging”… a very true clarification… he was thinking I was sprinting multiple miles at a time) we had fun just talking to each other. I got a good laugh when he was mentioning  how tired he was, then starting sprinting when some geese flew over us. Apparently, he was afraid that his new Nike sweatshirt would fall victim to  plummeting bird… droppings.

We were both ready to run long and hard… until we hit the third-mile long hill about a mile into it. J That took it out of us real fast. Eventually, I’d like to be able to do the WHOLE five-mile loop running, which has over a mile of uphill running in it… but that will definitely take a while for me to work up to.

I just started running, so there are many things about it that are painful. But one thing running outside has made me more appreciative of is winter. At any other time of the year, when I so much as get my heart rate up, I start sweating like a pig in a sauna wearing his snowsuit. I have a really good cooling system, what can I say? But in the winter, you start out cold, and by the time you’re done running, you’re the perfect temperature, even a little warm. (But not warm enough to start sweating profusely.)  I even took off my GLOVES, which is rather miraculous because if anything gets cold, it’s usually my hands. Exercising is so much fun when  you can come back refreshed rather than drenched.


I’m not a runner, and it’s possible I never will be, but I’m excited to be able to mix up my workout routine with an occasional jog (that was for you, Blaize!) outside. J

Sunday, December 8, 2013

My aunt can't talk. That is, unless you count slurring of speech and an occasional slow, painstaking word or two an hour talking. But she hasn't always been this way. She used to be the life of the party, my mom's best friend, a high-functioning librarian, and a doting grandma. Now she can't do the simple math required to balance a checkbook or the planning needed to grocery shop. My aunt has Primary Progressive Aphasia. Which, in case you're like me, and didn't know what this meant, means that she is rapidly becoming mute, and unable to understand or communicate written language. Oh, and did I mention she is married?

My Uncle Dave, her husband, has been incredible this past year and a half, since we found out about her condition. When she lost the ability to balance a checkbook, Uncle Dave took up that responsibility. Since she can't grocery shop anymore, they do that together, despite the fact that he works full-time. Though grunts and giggles are her primary form of communication, he still sets aside time to be with her. Though she eats ceaselessly because she doesn't know better, he still caresses her face with tenderness. When talking to her parents after receiving the initial diagnosis,  his words were, "I'll take care of her."

"I'll take care of her." These words are pretty amazing coming from a man who had just found out that he would become the primary caretaker of a mentally-ill women. When he married her, he didn't know that the last years of her life would feel more like childcare than romance for him.

Throughout the years, I've heard Jesus' life, death, and resurrection referred to as a "romance" from several Christian authors. While I agree Christ's love was undeniably expressed on the cross, was it a romance? I mean, Jesus, Son of God, King of Kings, comes to earth, and is born in a dingy stable. And instead of us being awed at His generosity and humility, people plan His murder! Oh, and don't forget the brutal execution of this plan, with Jesus on the cross. Or how, while we were scoffing at Him, He was suffering for our sins. Is that romance? I don't have much (okay, I don't have any) experience with romance, but I've always thought of a romance as mutual; both parties love each other, both parties are willing to sacrifice for each other.  Jesus didn't add to his glory or prestige by allowing himself to be murdered on the cross. But He demonstrated humility. He didn't gain much from taking away all our sins, but he got relationship with us. (We got the WAY better end of the deal) And the crazy thing to me is, He knew what He was signing up for. He knew it wasn't going to be easy or pretty, but He knew it as the right thing to do. I can just see Him saying to God, "I'll take good care of them." Romance? Not so much. Incredible love and sacrifice? Definitely.