I am a runner.  It feels good to say that.  This has been two years in the making amidst four deaths in the family and a wicked bout with mono.  Yes, the “kissing disease” of teenage years also strikes 34-year old women, and it strikes with a vengeance. Running and strength training have become a norm in my life.  Not only have they aided in staving off depression, but they have also helped me maintain my eight-size body downsize fairly easily.  That is not to say that there have not been challenges along the way.  I am your typical busy mom. My thirteen-year old son is in every sport imaginable, and my four-year old son is a non-stop entertainment dynamo (read: accident prone sprinkled with daredevil).

I live in a town of approximately four hundred people, am ten miles from my gym, and twenty-five miles from the nearest city.  That being said, people around here are not used to people running from street to street.  Instead of waving at me, they will look at me questionably, and then look behind me to see if I am being chased.  I can count on half of the fingers on one hand the number of runners who live in this town.  There are three of us, to be exact.  The other two runners are a married couple who have taught at our local school for years.  They do not ever complain about aches and pains or the weather, they just go.  In thirty years, that will be me.

I am a reporter for our town’s weekly newspaper.  The connections I have made while trekking about town are priceless.  The amazing images and short-but-sweet conversations that I have been fortunate enough to experience along the way would never have happened had it not been for my runs. If I can help encourage just one person along the way, that would make it all worth it.  There are many small towns in America, and like I tell my friends here who claim that it is too difficult to exercise, you just go.  You just do.  For the sake of your health, for the good of your family, and by the grace of God, you just go.

Give your neighbors something to talk about.  Run like you are being chased.