I’m writing again today with Lisa-Jo Baker for Five Minute Friday. I’m so thankful for the prompt each Friday, even when I don’t feel like writing! The rules are simple: a one-word prompt, five minutes, no extreme editing or contemplation. Ready, set, go!
My hair hasn’t been in a ponytail in a long time. But today, it is. Before the sky dawns pink, before any other feet hit the floor, before a word is spoken: I’m outside and ready. I am not a runner. A woman at church taught me a new word: wog. It is, of course, the combination of walking and jogging that we both enjoy. There are days that my wog turns into a jog and moments when my jog turns into a run, when the rhythm of a ponytail swishing across my shoulders keeps time with the feet falling softly on pavement and breath getting shorter and shorter.
This whole symphony plays alongside birds chirping and newspaper delivery cars and a lone man, wheeling his garbage can to the curb. In my ears, David Crowder reminds me: “If his grace is an ocean then we all are sinking.”
But it’s really the other rhythm that catches me, fills me, brings delight to someone who would much rather be in bed. The music of strength and life and vitality. The song of the feminine and the human and the runner. The ponytail swishing and lungs expanding and heart pounding and blood coursing and feet falling and arms pumping.
My five year old boy told our neighbor this morning, “It’s ‘cuz boys are stronger than girls.” I won’t deny that his father can lift more than me and that I beg off wrestling every. single. time. His father gladly remembers how my body carried and delivered two boys and quickly forfeits the “strongest in the house” award. He doesn’t do blood and guts or pain or needles, so all at once garners me the imaginary award.
In the morning, I sing a song that celebrates strength. It isn’t about being the strongest or the fastest, as I am certainly neither. It’s about the song. Entering the rhythm of running even for a few moments reminds me God has given me strength. As the sun stretches herself over the horizon, I head up the impossible hill and smile for the chance to sing.