On my way to get an iced mocha, I recently passed Heather running along the roadside. The morning was cool, only 45 degrees. I was huddled in my car in a winter coat with the heat cranked; she was wearing running shorts, grabbing sips from a water bottle.
The woman was a young mother from church. I watched her continue in the rear view mirror and smiled, remembering other mornings when I’d passed her, too. I thought about my own mornings as a writer when I just wasn’t “feelin’ it,” when I couldn’t get a word on the page, couldn’t get a grocery list put together, couldn’t find a coherent thought. Even with four small children, she’d made her morning run a priority. She’d found the courage and determination to pursue a bigger goal of marathon proportions. No excuses. Yes, I’m sure she’s had encouragement, help with childcare, coaching, but at 8:15, she was just doing it—alone—mile after mile—minute after minute—in the cold—through the rain.
Tricia, another young mother at church, is also preparing for the Boston Marathon. I’ve often wondered how the older among us can encourage the younger. We are surrounded by so many delightful young ladies who are wives, mothers, co-workers, and friends. They can’t always be with us for Sunday morning worship. Their schedules don’t allow for Saturday Bible studies. They’d love to grab a sangria on Tuesday nights, but they’re home reading stories to a four-year old, reminding a nine-year old to put homework in her backpack.
So rather than suggest yet another to-do, may I just share a word of encouragement and support to all the young women who are nurturing children, building families, transforming companies as well as communities, women who are strong, courageous, loving and determined—running through each day on the side of the road and through life, taking it step by step, mile by mile.