My mind is swimming with a variety of thoughts. That's not completely uncommon, but this week in particular, there is much to be accomplished. I am entering the week of my 5K, which is in memory of my mom. The event itself always brings on a flood of "to-do" items, memories of mom, learning and growth of my own self and knowledge of the running industry, and likely very little sleep!
This will be a busy week for sure, but yesterday I took time to myself. I took time away from the chaos, away from my computer on-line classes, and away from the home. I took time to meet with a couple of my friends from my Colombia trip.
The joy that I take away from those conversations sits deep in my soul. They are conversations of reminiscing over what God did in each of our lives during that time- which is so good to continually remember. The conversations are of dreams of what we want to happen in our futures. And they are conversations of sharing the pain of life as well.
Both of the women I had the chance to catch up with are very dear friends, and to have time to sit and soak in some new moments was priceless.
Barb, one of my friends whom I met yesterday, is a quilter. A long story short, Barb agreed to make a quilt out of my running shirts. I always had wanted one of these, but they are crazy expensive. So, Barb's agreement to make one for me at a very generous cost made me more than happy.
Yesterday, Barb gave me that finished quilt. I had no idea what to expect, since I gave her all my shirts and told her to put it together however she wanted. I didn't ask for specific shirts on there, and I certainly gave her enough. So, when I unfolded the quilt in anticipation, I was immediately taken down memory lane. Allow me to share what flutters through my mind as I looked at the quilt.....
Square one: I run because.... Kentucky Derby half marathon 2015. That race in particular doesn't hold a significant memory, but the shirt was one of my favorites because behind the phrase "I Run Because" were people's reasons as to why they run. Reasons given by runners in the race itself. And I love reading those. Running holds a huge place in my heart, in case you didn't know. ;) And so I found that a significant shirt to start off my quilt.
Square two: Monumental Half Marathon 2015. That race was significant to me because I trained hard through the fall for that event. But in the process of that training, I learned an even bigger lesson in life- the lesson of letting go. Lessons that will forever be engrained in my heart and mind and lessons I will carry with me for a lifetime.
Square three, ten, and twelve: Linda A. Ferguson memorial 5K shirts. Obviously, that sits closely to my heart because it is an event in memory of my mom. It's an event I gave birth to and have enjoyed putting on yearly. Through that event, I have grown as a person in more ways than one, and I have learned hundreds of lessons. It is an event which led me to my current job with the Air Force Marathon.
Square four: The Flying Pig Marathon. The only full marathon I have ever run.
Square five: The Air Force Marathon. Special to me for a million reasons. That shirt in particular happens to be from the year I was going to run the 5K but it actually got cancelled because of lightning. Still, it's very special to me. Simply because of being the Air Force Marathon.
Square six: Girls on the Run 5K. Barb picked that because her granddaughter was involved with that program. For me, I ran that event for the cause.
Square seven: Xenia Half Marathon, 2014. I did not finish with a particularly amazing time. But that event was a time in life I was facing significant hardship, and the race to me signified being able to push through it.
Square eight: Foam Fest 5K. Just for fun. I don't do very many of those, but I admit- that event was a blast! My friend Alyssa and I ran through crazy obstacles, mud, water, walls, and inflatables full of foam. That was a great time!
Square nine: GloRun. That was an event my son and I ran together. I can recall it very clearly still.
Square eleven: Harrigans 5K. That event holds my 5K PR. It rained, but it was a good event.
I had so many shirts that didn't get to make the quilt, but that didn't matter- looking at the quilt makes me happy, makes me remember. It would mean nothing to anyone else, but to me.... it reminds me of that which I am capable.
It brings back memories.
My son asked me if I would have another quilt made with the rest of the shirts. I told him probably not. At least not for a long time. Then again, perhaps one day I will, and the quilts may get passed on to my kids, eventually.
For now, if you know me well, you know I am more often than not cold. So, I wrap myself up in the quilt, all the while wrapped up in the memories.
Oh- and one of the neatest things also on the quilt is that Barb stitched a runner girl in the corner. She is one talented woman! I am grateful for her handiwork, but even more so for her friendship.