(Just as a warning, this entry is pretty self-focused, with some details about how I've been feeling physically leading into marathon week. For those of you not into the details of my running life, it's best that you skip this one...)
Shortly after posting an update on my blog this past weekend, I started experiencing some pain in my elbow. Those of you who know me well have heard about the little mishap I had in high school that ended in a trip to the hospital and some surgery (it's a good story...feel free to ask me about it some time when you need a laugh). On Saturday, near the sight of my old injury, my arm started to swell and turn red. Family members were laughing about my tennis elbow, not because I had tennis elbow, but because it looked like I had a tennis ball lodged in my elbow. I was starting to feel anxious about how this unknown and very strange development was going to alter my marathon-running plans. My mind began to think through worst-case scenarios: I am going to need to make a trip to the ER...I am going to need surgery to fix this weird elbow problem...we are going rack up lots of health care costs and they won't even count toward next year's high deductible...I won't be able to run my marathon.
The human body puzzles me at times. I'm not sick often, but I've had my fair share of strange body aches, rashes, and other unknown ailments, especially in the last few years. I'm not sure if it's that I'm getting older, or if it's that I became a mom during that time, but lately, I've become more aware of the truth that, even if I run several times per week, sleep well, avoid addictions, and try to eat all of the right things, I'm so not in control of my own body. It's scary. I feel more comfortable when I can trick myself into thinking that I'm in control. I can't do that when my body is doing strange and unpredictable things.
Just like access to water, our good health is not something to be taken for granted. It's not a given. It can be taken away from us at any point. I feel like it's at times like these, when things seem a little more uncertain, that I thank God more for the "small" things. Thank you, God, that my elbow seems a little less swollen. Thanks that it's no longer red and the pain has gone down. Father, thank you that you've sustained me through a marathon training season. Thanks that I get to run in this marathon.
I'm also thankful for a good friend who called me last night, asked how I was doing, encouraged me to dwell in the truth that God will take care of me, and prayed for me. I'm taking small steps toward grasping a better perspective when the unexpected comes my way.