It’s incredibly exciting to get something new for a habit you enjoy, or even a job you love. Like when a painter gets a new paint brush, or a carpenter gets a new tool belt. Or in my case, a runner gets a new pair of running shoes. You’re excited to put that new brush to canvas, only the bristles are too stiff for the fine detail. Like a new pair of running shoes, you’ve got to use the brush a few times before you wear in the bristles the way you like. I’m not an expert on painting, but fortunately blisters aren’t a problem with new paint brushes, just new shoes.
At the end of my first week with the new shoes, I had a very painful blister on the inside of my right foot. Check it out to the right. It’s pretty gross I know. I was scheduled to run three miles, and at this point wasn’t too sure my foot or my blister could take another 10 feet of pounding. I probably wasted an hour on an internal debate; to run or not to run.
The healthy, go-getter, determined part of me won this debate. I was going to run no matter what. If I skip just one day, I’m setting myself up to fail. So I drove myself, begrudgingly to the park, and went for it.
Surprisingly, the blister hurt worse to walk than it did to run. In fact, I hardly noticed it through the run. I was on track to meeting my goal and nothing, not even a blister was going to deter me.
I was just over two miles in when I saw the coolest thing ever. OK, well maybe not the coolest, but it was pretty cool. I probably wouldn’t have even noticed if it weren’t for the elderly couple snapping pictures and pointing. Through the trees was a clearing for the lake. In the middle of the lake is a tiny island. I didn’t know this at the time, but it’s apparently known for what I saw next. I used to run with my phone, but then I got my iPod I no longer saw any reason to run with it. Of course, having my phone would have given me the opportunity to snap a few photos of this sight, but I didn’t have it. So the following image is pretty similar to what I saw, but it’s a random photo I found on the internet.
That’s right! I saw a family of deer swimming from the island to the shore. Living in the middle of the country means that I’m pretty used to seeing deer. Usually I see them on the side of the road as I’m traveling 60 mph, or I see them crossing the road; but I’ve never really thought of them as swimming across a lake as I’m running.
So what’s the lesson learned here. Fighting through blisters and the part of you that wants to call it quits is rewarding. Nature rewarded me for pushing myself and my limits. It’s not everyday that something like this happens (maybe it is, but it’s not everyday that we get to see it). To top it all off, it was a beautiful day. The weather was perfect for running. This experience has taught me a great deal about strength and appreciating the small things in life. The beautiful day, the deer and even the run made me feel great!
I’m ready to keep this journey going, and I hope you are too.