Better Way, Just About

Today I am grateful for shoes, shoelaces, and fingers nimble enough to tie shoes and do other important tasks, like typing today's post.

It's a week and a half out from our marathon. I am somewhat rested. I have returned to running and considering my next goal. It's a good time to revisit some other moments from the Fox Cities Marathon experience.

I appreciated the enthusiastic cheer squad at Mile 9.  Who am I cheering for today? Who is cheering for me? I always have a cheerleader in my Higher Power/Great Spirit.

Street names like "Just About Lane" and "Better Way" reminded me to consider this:  "Just about" means keep moving, the next spot you need to reach is just ahead. That is enough. The "better way" is living gratefully, focusing on what I do have, not continuously striving for more and missing the moments that matter.

Another street name around Mile 12 was "Roger Street."  I thought of my brother-in-law Roger, an avid hiker, runner, and biker before early onset Lewy body dementia first slowed him then took him. Seeing my family--Sam, Arthur, Alyssa, and Aaron--just after the halfway point was a real boost and a clear reminder of my many rich blessings.

This eagle in a tree just before Mile 15 had me pausing, awe-struck and inspired:

And in the later miles, when I needed a smile, I was given one as I ran past this bar, aptly named "Just One More . . . Again." This is a bar name alcoholics appreciate. We get it. It didn't escape me in that moment that there is also a dead seriousness to that name. I am so deeply grateful to be on the recovering side of alcoholism, not the using side. 

And then I had stretches of quiet trail with very few other runners or spectators in some of the last miles. I was struggling in ways and lifted up in others. Just about there. Knowing the better way, the only way, to get there was to keep going a step at a time.