My plan was set. I was going to go up to Parma on Saturday evening, spend the night at my friend Deb's house, then get up early and run. She and her husband were planning to be my cheering squad. It is a very small half marathon. Last year they had about 100 participants.
I was very excited to complete my sixth. Half way to my goal of twelve in twelve.
Leading up to the race, I received an invitation for my friend Amy's 50th birthday party at her place up on Lake Erie, for Saturday ay 4:00 pm. I knew I couldn't make the party and get to Parma by 8:00 a.m. the next morning, but I thought I could go up the night before and help her celebrate on Friday. I'd have plenty of time Saturday to take the ferry back to Port Clinton, then drive to Deb's, hydrate, and get to bed early.
The storm said, very funny. Good luck with your plans, mortal.
So there I was, on Put In Bay island, watching huge waves crash over the dock. The wind was the worst I'd heard in years, and reminded me of Virginia Beach hurricane days. Huge oak trees were being uprooted. We had Forrest Gump sideways rain. Umbrellas turned inside out the second you walked outside. And due to all of this, ferry service was cancelled completely on and off the island.
As it sunk in that I was not going anywhere, I kept thinking about my overnight bag that I'd left in the car on the mainland. It had my running shoes in it, my headphones, my heart rate monitor. Everything I needed for the race that I wasn't going to make it to.
What will this do to my goal? Marie wrote, "Do 13 laps around the island and I'll buy you a margarita!" That's an option, I thought. A little too windy at the time, and my running shoes are across Lake Erie, but maybe when I get back.
My friend Adam used to say to me, "I've got my flex pass." It meant, whatever happens, I'm flexible and can go with it. It will work out. Sitting there stranded on an island in that storm, I felt like it took some digging at the bottom of my bag to find my flex pass. I wanted to do my run! Then I thought, do I really? The weather for Sunday during the race was forecast to be 25-35 mph winds and heavy rain.
If you do fitness long enough, you are going to get hit with a storm. A powerful tropical depression that sits right on top of you and spins wind and rain all around you. Your storm may be an injury. It may be an illness. Surgery. A devastating loss. An empty nest. You may fall far off track, or quit entirely for awhile. We cannot get through life's journey without storms.
I believe we can weather them. But big storms require preparation and faith. What does that look like in life? It is dedication to our daily practices. It's commitment to honoring our health and well-being no matter what and digging at the bottom of our overnight bag to find that flex pass. It's having strategies in place to get back on track when things get rough out there. And it's knowing that every storm ends and behind it is peace, calm and clear. It is then that we find our way home.
Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life. - Philippians 4:6-7 The Message