For as long as I can remember, running has been part of my soul. It’s an escape and a release. It’s a way to transform myself, both physically and mentally. It’s a quiet time to reflect and work things out in my mind. It’s a physical challenge, and a way to push past my boundaries and my limits. One of my favorite verses has always been Isaiah 40:31: “But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.”
I was scrolling through old photos and found one which always makes me smile and reflect. I was in second grade, and had been learning and perceiving many painful things about this world. The school was conducting a fundraiser run, and I used it as an opportunity to work out my frustrations. Below is a narration of my thoughts that day.
That’s me on the right.
I remember this day, and this run, well.
You can’t see it in this picture,
but this seven-year-old is full of angst.
With each stride,
and with each pounding step in the dirt,
she is fiercely vowing to herself
to her teachers,
and the world:
You are wrong.
You are blind.
I do not believe you.
You assume I’m weak.
You call me slow.
You treat me as less-than.
You say I can’t do this,
You limit me because of my body
and the parts it doesn’t have.
How dare you.
How dare you tell me what I’m allowed to do because I’m “just a girl.”
How dare you tell me what I’m not allowed to do because I’m “not a boy.”
How dare you.
How dare you!
I will show you.
I will show you!
I am strong.
I am fast.
I will run.
I will run and run and run and run.
I will run until the last person stops running.
I will never pretend.
I will never pretend to be weak.
I will never pretend to be slow.
I will never pretend to be less.
I will never pretend to be anything other
I will keep running.
My constant prayer is for a more perceptive world. One in which we take off our blinders, and see people for who they are, and who God made them to be. Where we accept each person’s beauty and their gifts with open arms, and stop cramming His beloved into tradition-prescribed and ill-fitting boxes.
Let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. Hebrews 12:1