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  • I've been getting back into running after a long and arduous injury. I'm guarded now, afraid of doing any more damage, and I'm slower than ever before. Frustrating, but I'm thankful to at least have a little "git" to my "gittyup". I went out for my long run today because I'm training for a marathon again. In runner-speak, that is the run that is your longest, slowest run of the week. The run that will increase your mileage systematically and usher you to your finish line, whatever distance that may be.

    Over the course of the particular route that I had laid out there is a massive hill to face. Even on a good day or a short run, I do my best to shuffle up to its crest.

    As I was running, at about mile 4, I knew that hill was coming up soon. I had been dreading it. And you know, just as I thought, that hill towered over me as soon as I turned the corner. Just grinning a smug grin. I thought, "Of course. That son-of-a-bitch".

    Suddenly, a little bit of a girl in brown leather cowgirl boots and a pink poofy skirt jumped right from the steamy July woods as I was making my ascent. She obviously was taking a hike with her family and instead of staying with her pack she started running beside me. Right up that hill like she had not even given it a second thought. I looked down at her, she was a stranger to me, but I noticed her long, brown hair streaming behind her as she pushed herself full throttle in those boots up that terrifying hill. She just smiled and all I could do was smile right back.

    It's like she was a messenger saying "Gather yourself, Little One, you've got this thing."
    And God I needed that moment. I needed just to remember to run through a hill and not up it.

    Her mom and common sense called her back to rejoin her family, but we had made it up that hill. She turned around and went back down all the while never saying a word. I was so thankful for the run, her boots, that smile. So thankful, in fact, I went home and put on my own cowgirl boots for the rest of the day because I might not ever pass this way again.
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