“Three, two, one, go!” the race director bellowed, his voice echoing through the forest. And we were off.
My lungs burned as we headed straight uphill through the grove of sequoia trees at 5,000-feet elevation. Inhale. Lift. Exhale. Lift. Inhale. Lift. I tried to find the rhythm of my breath and feet to make it up that first long hill. I had confidence knowing I had completed this race before, but five miles of hills is still five miles of hills. I knew what to expect, but I still had to put in the work.
Sometimes life is about breathing and lifting, putting one foot in front of the other. Sometimes life is about lifting our eyes to chase God’s glory up the steepest hills and through the darkest corridors of the forest.
I learned this in a profound way in 2014 when my husband was diagnosed with stage four cancer. Every part of the journey felt like running uphill through the darkness. As his health quickly deteriorated, I took on the role of caretaker. My once strong, athletic husband depended on me to take him to doctor’s appointments, to make decisions about treatments, to prepare special meals for him and even to brush his teeth. The work was heavy and heartbreaking.
Lift. Inhale. Lift. Exhale. Lift. Inhale. Lift.