“Huff, puff.  Slap, slap. Huff, puff.  Slap, slap.” No, there wasn’t something dragging from the bumper of a passing car.

The sound of me, on the road this morning.  At mile: 4.

Which is when I lost my mind. I suddenly decided to try to run mile 4 (of 6) straight.

I argued with myself as I walked from mile 3.5-3.9…

Mile 3.5- “I wonder if I could run a mile straight?”  “Are you nuts?  You haven’t run a mile straight in 20 years.”  Mile 3.7 “Yeah, but I’ve been upping my intervals… and maybe I could!”  “I don’t think so. You’ll croak.”  Mile 3.9 But what if I DID it? THAT, would feel great.”  “Fine, give it a try, but if you die, don’t blame me.” Mile 4.0 “Oh, Lord”

As soon as Endomondo clicked over to mile 4… I started to run.  Not flat out- make yourself puke or break your neck…just a slow, easy pace.  After a couple hundred yards, (what I’d typically run as an interval) I thought about walking. Then I thought about knowing Id actually RUN a mile.  I kept going.

I came to a crosswalk. I crossed.  I thought about walking.  I didn’t. I ran.

I had to change playlists, I thought walking.  I didn’t, I kept running.

I made it .52 miles.  I thought about stopping.  I decided to stop looking at my mile tracker.

I cranked up U2 and tried to keep pace.  I did.

at .74 miles (I peeked:P) I looked at the road ahead.  The freeway overpass was coming up.  It was too close. Like- the top of it would be right  smack dab at about where this mile I decided to run, should end. It’s a long, high hill. It’s gravely and steep. I thought about walking.

I kept running. Toward it. I made it to the base of the hill. I peeked again. I thought “.88 miles is good.”  I can walk the hill. But it just didn’t feel quite like having “run a mile straight.”

I kept running.  I couldn’t get this close and quit.

“Huff, puff.  Slap, slap. Huff, puff.  Slap, slap.”

I’m pretty sure I looked more  like a slow-motion replay of a runner, than an actual real time runner. It doesn’t matter. When I got to the top of that overpass and my iphone announced “5 miles.” I knew I’d done it.  I was Rocky running the steps.  I was Carl Lewis or maybe more like Florence Griffith Joyner….(hey– we both have nails- don’t bring me down!) Ok– well maybe not like either one.

But, I was me. Running.  Not quitting when it got rough. But to the finish.

I did it.

This week’s theme has been confronting what I believed, were personal limitations.

I posted about taking a risk and allowing one of my book proposal ideas to be presented to a publisher.  *gulp* By someone else.  *gasp* When it isn’t perfect. *wheeze* When I wasn’t there to see or control it’s presentation. *slap* *huff* puff*.  I wasn’t sure if I could do it. I wanted to run. I wanted to back out.

I didn’t. But I wanted too.

I spent the day pretty freaked out. I wish I could say I had “perfect peace that passes all understanding.” I didn’t.  I ran scenarios in my head like a bad movie on repeat. (Think the Bear in the big Blue House Potty Video.. yeah.. that bad.)  I pictured  the publisher literally laughing at the mundane-ness and lameness of the idea… I pictured an editor a lot like Simon Cowell ripping it apart and asking “Did your friends tell you you could write?  If so, you need new friends.” I pictured the opposite.. “This is magnificent… sign this woman up, she’s got a voice that needs to be heard.  It’s fresh, relevant, reverantly irreverant, authentic and true…” I’m not sure which I was more afraid of. I was afraid I’d made the wrong decision and shouldn’t have ever answered that phone call. I was afraid I was about to be crushed like a bug.

I waited.  I didn’t hear anything.  I had the feeling that: “no news is bad news…” I ate cookies, and a peanut butter sandwich with m&m’s to console myself, and got ready for bed.

I checked my email one more time. There was something in my inbox.

It wasn’t what I’d expected. No Simon Cowell or raving review.

Ideas were presented… but not mine. I was disappointed and relieved.  I also kind of wanted to cry. It wasn’t sadness.. it was all that energy wasted in fear.

I didn’t do much the next day, to be honest.  Maybe I was wallowing.

But then, this morning.  I ran a mile. STRAIGHT.

I didn’t think  could do it, but I did.

You know what?  Sure.. the idea didn’t get presented, like I’d thought it would.  BUT.  I let it GO. I didn’t let my fear say “NO. It’s not perfect, you’re not good enough or ready.” When the mile tracker of my life gave me the opportunity to go ahead and see if I could run that mile.  I ran it. Scared and messy as it was.

I did it.

The race isn’t over. I’m not done running or writing. I’m just getting started.  I have a feeling I’m going to find out there are lots of miles that I thought would be too hard.  Lots of hills I think are too high, and lots of things I think I can’t do, I also think I will find out that I can. If I try.

And so can you.

I hope you find courage in the race before you.  I hope you go ahead and try to run that mile.. let that idea go out into the world… take that risk.

You just might find out you can, too.

I’m not settling for standing on the side lines… I want to run in this race we call life…   I’m running to win. Not running to beat you.. but to run with you. I don’t have to win… but I’m learning that I do have to run as IF to win… by giving it all I have.

Come on.  Let’s go!

Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. 1 Cor 9:24

Besides…I guess.. if I want to write about “A Mile In Her Shoes” I ought to do one in mine.. huh?  Well, I guess I just did:)