Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Where Does the Time Go?

Has anyone noticed that sometimes life hits warp-speed and you don’t even realize it until you look at the calendar and the month is over?

Let’s talk about change. I don’t mean quarters and nickels, I mean changes in life that cause you to stop and look around. It started late one evening in Feb. I got a phone call from someone that was not only my co-worker but one of my closest friends. She said was quitting her job and moving to Indianapolis. I know Indy isn’t far away but this is a person who has worked next to me for over 2 years. She’s the kind of friend that had tears of joy well up in her eyes when I told her Scott and I got engaged. Not having her to share life’s daily joys and struggles was going to be hard. The week after she left I began to speak to her through the office wall, then realized she wasn’t on the other side. It’s just one of those reminders that life isn’t always pink clouds and fluffy bunnies, sometimes it’s sad. The selfish part of me wanted her to stay here…but I know the reasons she left and I wouldn’t want to hold her back. To my dear friend and previous co-worker…I miss your guts and know you will be wonderful at all you do.

In the same stretch of time a new associate joined our little office. It’s always interesting meeting new co-workers because they are like a multi-chapter book you can’t wait to get your hands on. As I studied her resume before meeting her, it read like a page from National Geographic. She has studied and lived in various places around the world including a stint in the military. Her personality is larger than the world she has explored and I knew within minutes of meeting her I would enjoy having this person play a role in my life. Losing one friend and gaining a new one reminded me of the quote, “When God closes a door he opens a window.” I will always miss the door and am very thankful for the new window.

The month of February also brought with it engagement photos!! Days after Scott and I became engaged we hopped a plane to Florida. My sister took engagement photos of us frolicking on the beach. They are beautiful and I love them. A friend of mine, Nicole Neff, who started her own photography business in the past couple of years called to ask a favor of Scott and I. She wanted to beef up her portfolio of engagement photos and needed a fun “in-love” couple to pose on the slopes of Paoli Peaks. Scott and I had wanted to head that way and ski so it worked out perfectly! She took action shots of us tearing up the slopes as well as the so-cute-they-will-make-you-puke shots. She was awesome to work with and I can’t wait to see the pictures!! If you want to check them out, she will post them on her website at http://www.nicoleneffphotography.com/index2.php

And the most shocking news of the past month…last year Scott and I were discussing things we wanted to do in the New Year. For some unknown reason, I said I wanted to run a marathon. I’m not sure if I had been hitting the sangria when I said this because I am not a runner. I’ve never been a runner and I avoided sports in high school that included running (hence I was in drama). But I opened my mouth and these ridiculous words blurted out. Fast forward to February. The company I work for sponsors the “Run of Luck” which is a 7k run/walk that benefits Soles 4 Souls, Evansville Christian Life Center, and Caring Paws Rescue. About a month before the race, Scott mentions the event and says “we’re signing up.” My heart stopped and I heard the world come screeching to a halt. Me Run? I would rather just donate every last cent I have to the “Run of Luck” and call it good. I would rather take off walking across the Sahara Desert than sign up for a run! My sweet future husband reminded me of that statement I made regarding a marathon and that this was our chance and with the wedding coming up, this would be a great way to get in shape. (Yes, he smartly managed to tie the run to the wedding and he knew I couldn’t say no)

The training began. The first night Scott and I ran, I came home and puked in the kitchen sink. We had run less than one mile and I hurt. Not only did I hurt but my skin felt clammy and I couldn’t catch my breath. My mouth tasted like I had been sucking on quarters. It was awful. “Why did I sign up for this,” I asked.

Before I knew it, race day was upon us. In the prior month, I had run a total of six different days and the longest I had run at one time was one mile. With 7k starring me in the face, I was scared. Since it was a St. Patrick’s Day run, Scott’s friends happily sprayed green paint in my hair to get me into the spirit of the race. I figured it would help me get spotted when I collapsed at the 1.5 mile marker.

The gun went off and the race began. There were so many people crammed at the start line that we had to start out walking. I didn’t mind. As the group began to disperse, Scott said, “You ready?” And off we ran. It wasn’t a fast pace but we were running. We passed some people and a lot of people passed us. As Scott called out we had already finished 1 mile, my first thought was “that’s all?” I pushed on. Running downtown along the river helped take my mind off what I was actually doing and soak up the scenery. Spectators lined the course and I found their cheers surprisingly helpful.

At mile two my stomach had a twinge of cramping but my breathing was in control. Scott, who stayed by my side the entire time, said words of encouragement. Mile 3 came and went and I fleetingly thought I could do this forever. Than mile four. I felt as though I was swimming in cement. I wanted to lie down and fall asleep. My left hip flexor felt odd and I wondered if it was possible to lose a leg while running. I wanted to walk but Scott placed his hand on my lower back and said we could do this. He would set little goals for me, “Pass this guy up here in the yellow shorts…” and I would push to pass the guy. A sudden burst of energy pulsed through me as we ran by Penny Lane Coffee House. As many of you know, this is the place Scott and I met and also the location of our first kiss. We may have slowed our jog down for a quick kiss. It defiantly helped me finish the race.

As the finish line came into view, the crowd cheered us on. I was laughing with exhaustion as I neared the finish line. A gentleman in the crowd made eye contact with me, gave me a smile and began clapping. We passed the finish line. Scott scooped me up in a huge hug and told me how proud he was. I felt elated. The girl that hated running just ran over 4 miles. There was an emotional feeling in my throat as I thought about what I had just accomplished. For 29 years I laughed at the idea of running if I wasn’t being chased. Now, with the encouragement of Scott, I did something I never dreamt of doing. I wouldn’t say that I “enjoyed” the running aspect, but I loved the feeling I had throughout the entire event. Scott mentioned there’s a 5k this summer he was interested in doing…my reply, “sign us up!”