Okay so it’s not really my first run but it’s my first run back home since the twins’ diagnosis. Where everything’s the same but I feel so different.
I ran the same 2 mile route I have taken about a thousand times. Down Captiol to the governors mansion and to the lake. Passing all the same houses. The same cars parked outside. The same sidewalks were un-shoveled. The same cars were blocking the sidewalks. I wore the same running gear. Listened to the same running playlist. I ran by the same schools. Up the same dreaded hill at the end of the run. The same potholes in the streets were there. The miles even took me the same time as usual, but it was different. Oh so different.
For one thing I didn’t have my same running partner, but I have run this route alone before. However, this time I felt so much stronger. Not just physically, but mentally and emotionally. Having a child, or children, with cancer will do that to you I guess. Usually I feel like stopping 175 times out on my runs. I have a love/hate relationship with the sport. I love how I feel after I’m done running, but most of the time during the actual run, I’m miserable. It was different this time. This time I just ran. Without even caring that my lungs were burning and my legs were on fire up that hill. I didn’t care that my feet were a bit numb from being soaked in a puddle early run.
I did stop to take this photo. I’ve always loved this view on my run and in the summer when the sun is setting behind the Capitol building, it’s gorgeous. It’s one of my favorite things about here. I stayed there for a minute just looking and thinking about how much has changed over the last few months for me and my family. I kept thinking how everything looks exactly the same but I couldn’t get how different it all felt. Interesting how that happens. I turned around and headed back home, still deep in thought.
I started thinking about the girls and how much they’ve overcome (all three of them!) Thinking about how they never, ever had one thought of giving up on their fight. How they smiled through every single hellish day. Which lead me to think about all the times I have wanted to give up and quit smiling when things got hard. How I often want to give up on the dishes, laundry, clean house. Give up on the babies that sometimes cry about everything. Give up on Teagan when she’s throwing fits. Give up on my health and not exercise or eat right.
But I don’t. I don’t give up. That’s not what we momma bears do. We may want to 1000 times a day, but we keep going. Keep waging on. And with each experience we get stronger. And I’m here to tell you that when you do emerge from your own struggle, whatever it may be, the world around you will be the same. It will look the same and seem like nothing ever changed. But you will have changed. You will have gained strength physically, mentally and emotionally you never knew you had. And you will look back and see the person you once thought couldn’t handle one more thing. The person that wanted to give up and you will be so glad you didn’t.
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