A Classic Christmastime Story

In a classic story, things seem to be going pretty well. Then they unexpectedly get pretty bad. Then a miraculous and/or really great thing happens, and the story ends with things looking quite well.

Allow me to share with you my own classic story. As you may recall, I've been running and it was going really, really well. I didn't get a chance to blog about it, but 2 weeks ago I ran at 4.6 miles an hour (a 13 minute mile, basically) for 15:20 minutes with no slowing or stopping. It was the equivalent of running 5 laps around a track. Ah. Maze. ZING! I felt like a superhero! I went to a Christmas party feeling fit, thin, and gorgeous!

Not only did I run an extra 20 seconds after FIFTEEN minutes
to hit an even 1.25 miles but I did the last 5 minutes at 5mph,
a 12 minute mile. Me, at 265 pounds! So cool!

Me feeling rather beautiful and healthy!

Then, last week, my sweet baby boy woke up with a runny nose. It progressively grew worse each each day and my ability to go running was simply kaboomed. It culminated with a trip to the ER Saturday night (well, actually VERY early Sunday morning) because he was breathing so rapidly. Though I want to be healthy, Roger's life was literally at risk. See, the best way to go running was to go about 70 yards from our apartment to the fitness center in our complex during his naptime. I did it about 4 times, always wrestling with whether it was right or not. I wasn't much farther away than if we had a really big house...but I was still not in the home with him.

Him getting sick sealed the deal. Though he's very safe in his crib, if something DID happen I'd simply feel responsible. I WOULD BE responsible. And when he was sick and hacking and coughing and breathing weird and simply miserable there was zero chance I was going away, even for 35 minutes, to run. Today, nearly 2 weeks later, he's still coughing a decent bit and a bit snottish (I make up words. It's what I do.). Needless to say, I haven't run in about 2 full weeks. Feels like forever, really.

Here's why that blows: my body seems to think it can only lose weight if I run every day. I can eat perfectly, not run, and my weight stays the same or even ticks up a pound or two. I can run, eat only ok, and still lose a solid 5 pounds a week, generally speaking. I was also doing 30 Day Shred and running, on a tandem of each one every other day, and I gain muscle so ridiculously fast (plus maybe there was some body shock?) that I gained about 4 pounds in as many days, despite much running and eating well. Add in less than stellar eating (though, praise Jesus, not gluttonous! Just more sugar than I would ever eat!) and I put on another 3. Not a great feeling, and I REALLY wanted to go running and simply couldn't.

To be clear: I'm honestly more concerned with my health, less with my weight, than ever before, but gaining weight is a sign of health decline. It sucks.

Another small tidbit here is that I had also been going running at night, around 7, when my husband got home. But we were super busy multiple nights in a row, and then on top of that I have felt very convicted about honoring Jason by spending time with him in the evenings. He continually tells me how much me misses me all day at work and really craves spending quality time with me. Since he's only usurped in priorities by Jesus himself then it's my joy to honor him. Plus, I quite like spending time with him, too.

Alas, no running for two weeks. Gaining weight. Very sick baby. General stress of this time of year AND the stress of wanting to run and missing it and just not being able to. Plus, I always struggle with sleeping this time of year.  I tend toward mild depression and insomnia. Not fun.

Rightly prioritizing these two? ALWAYS worth it.

Enter my miracle: I had this instinct about a month ago to go on The City, my church's internal equivalent of Facebook, and just ask if  anyone had a decent treadmill they weren't using that they would be interested in giving away. I didn't have the courage, so I perused the Marketplace listings (a bit of a Craigslist type section of the site) and saw that someone was selling a treadmill for $800. It was $2,000 when purchased last year and only slightly used by an older couple who moved into retirement living and didn't have space for it. I lamented the lack of funds to buy it and simply moved on, daydreaming about someday having a lovely finished basement and a $5,000 Precor awesomeness to run on.

Only it never left me. And since I sure can't sleep, the other night I decided to get out my laptop and ended up seeing the same ad again. I knew it was a long shot, but I decided to write the lady and just tell a wee bit of my story. I made it clear that I felt ZERO entitlement (sometimes people will prey upon the "Help a sibling in Christ in need" sentiment by laying on guilt trips) and totally understood if they needed the money, but felt like Jesus was saying it couldn't hurt to ask if they would ever be interested in simply giving it to me.

Long story short, not only did they give it to me, but the woman made it clear that they were as excited to give it to me as I was to receive it. They were touched by our story (namely, how much weight I've lost, how much we serve because we love Jesus' body in our church, and the fact that she has a husband named Roger and a son named Jason--so cool!) and believe that the treadmill never sold because they were meant to bless us with it. I am amazed at Jesus' body!

Yeah, that's my living room!

So, merry Christmas to me! It's an AFG 5.0 AT treadmill (the link has the awesome specs) and it's awesome. Today was crazy and this weekend will be, too, but I'm so excited to get back to running regularly Monday at the latest! We put it in our living room because, well, why not? We don't care much if it looks a bit tacky because it's saving my life, really.

I feel quite spoiled by my Father. The mirror is there to watch TV--backwards!--while I run. And it just so happens to have an iPod doc built right in, and the machine itself is quiet and smooth and AWESOME.

Things are looking up in this classic story, so that's the end for now!

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