Wednesday, December 1, 2010

one word: strength

Encapsulate the year 2010 in one word. Explain why you’re choosing that word. Now, imagine it’s one year from today, what would you like the word to be that captures 2011 for you?

In a word, 2010 was about gaining strength.

I ran my first half marathon. Long runs, early mornings (and early bedtimes), and repeated mantras taught me that distance running is about mental strength as much, if not more, that it is about physical. Still, my body feels strong, which is a feeling I took for granted for a long time. Mentally I got over my blocks -- first it was hills, then six miles, and most recently it's been 10. I still start to freak out in the middle of some of those long runs, but with more and more miles under my belt, the long runs come a little easier (and are even fun!).

Too, I've gained more substance. The physical body is a good metaphor: less flab, more muscle. I'm more weighty. I have more to offer. The half marathon was a physical manifestation (and perhaps helped to manifest) what's been happening in other areas of life. My work, my relationships, my spiritual life -- I've worked hard, trained some important muscles, and have repeated sacred mantras to keep me focused on what I really want.

And a note about this: I attribute it, really, to God's work in my life. The other morning I read this verse and said to myself, "yes."
For he strengthens the bars of your gates;
he blesses your children within you.
He grants peace within your borders;
he fills you with the finest of wheat.
-Psalm 147-13-14

As for 2011, the first word that came to mind was success. I'm going with my gut here. I have to admit it feels slightly uncomfortable -- I'd prefer a word less competitive and showy, like comfort or curl-up-with-a-book-and-hide. But I plan to keep exercising my new strength and see what good it brings. Some exciting opportunities are on the horizon; I have good feelings about 2011.

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