10 Words in 10 Days…Day 7

hope·ful
/ˈhōpfəl/
adjective
 1. feeling or inspiring optimism about a future event.

Last year, at just around this time, I was in the midst of training for my very first marathon, Grandma’s Marathon, which was to be run in June. I had a few long runs in April 2013…a 15-miler, I believe, was one of the runs scheduled. I remember it well, because it was cold. In fact, it was one of those Minnesota days where the temperature drops from 40° at the start of the run, to 22° with gusty north winds by the end.

And I was dragging.

I didn’t map out my route well, so I ended up back at home 3 miles shy. I had to backtrack and get that extra 3 miles in. The problem was, the weather was not getting any better, and now I’d have to run back into the wind to get it done.

Something happened on that run. It was one of the worst ones I had throughout that 18-week training program. And I knew it the following day because both my calves were shockingly sore and tight. OMG…what had I done? The situation is almost brutally the same as the one I am facing now, except I had two months to recover from that calamity. This time, I just have two weeks.

Now it is down to one week. And I remain cautiously optimistic. As I stand here typing this blog post, I have my toes on a yoga block and my heel to the ground, and I’m stretching out this calf like it is nobody’s business. I’ll do some foam rolling when I’m done, some self massage, and a little icing, too.

Still, I remain hopeful.

Hopeful, because I ran that marathon last year and rocked it despite many other little aches and pains (it was a few weeks after the calf incident that then entire thigh incident began). Yeah, it wasn’t all comfortable, but I managed to run that 26.2 miles. And I survived. Hopeful, because despite the thigh injury, I still pulled out nothing but PR’s all summer and fall. Hopeful, because somehow I always manage to pull it off.

hope-hand

Hope. It’s a powerful word. It can bring you from well below the depths of despair back to a place where you can gasp for air. It can release those inner demons and cleanse the soul. It can set you up for brighter days. It can clear the path in front of you, and allow the space for faith to run along side you.

I need to be hopeful so that I can have faith. Faith in myself, faith in my training, faith for the future. Hope and faith. They go hand in hand.

HopeInAJar

Jodie Foster played the part of Ellie in one of my all time favorite movies, Contact. It wasn’t a blockbuster, and many of you probably never heard of it. But I must have watched it over 100 times. It is one of those movies I turn on when I’m at my lowest. It always does something to me. It always makes me aware of who I am and what I believe in.

Jodie Foster in "Contact"

Jodie Foster in “Contact”

At the end of the movie, Ellie says this:

“I was given something wonderful, something that changed me forever…A vision of the universe, that tells us, undeniably, how tiny, and insignificant and how rare, and precious we all are! A vision that tells us that we belong to something that is greater then ourselves, that we are not…that none of us are alone. I wish I could share that…I wish, that everyone, if only for one moment, could feel that awe, and humility, and hope. But… That continues to be my wish.”

The awe, the humility, and the hope.

HopeChangesEverything

Sometimes it is all we have. And it can change everything.

6 Responses to 10 Words in 10 Days…Day 7

  1. Heard something on the news this morning about confidence being more powerful than ability. Believe in yourself!

  2. More of a mental game! After stretching and icing it, you’ll rock the race! You trained for it, you can do it!

  3. petitepacer says:

    Can I recommend contrast to increase blood flow? 5 min heat, 2 min ice for about 20 minutes total? End with heat. There is some conflicting studies about it’s efficacy, but some athletes still do it. Also, you have Raynauds, but you’re using straight ice anyway – just keep an eye out. http://www.humankinetics.com/excerpts/excerpts/how-to-use-heat-and-cold-to-treat-athletic-injuries

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