Of Running Shoes and White Houses: One Year Later

On September 3, 2013 (one year ago today), I couldn’t run a mile. I couldn’t even run 25 yards. I know this because I tried. It was my first day running.

What I remember about that day was that I struggled to run for a full minute as the group that I joined for new runners introduced very starter-level intervals. When it was over and I got back to my car, I texted a friend to say that I didn’t think I was going to make it. That day, I felt all but certain I was going to fail at running (yet again). I think I actually whimpered a little bit when I got back to my apartment and stood at the bottom of the long, steep staircase, looking up and wondering how I was going to drag myself up those when it hurt just to walk.

It was embarrassing because I knew that I hadn’t really done that much at all.

This morning, September 3, 2014, I went to the park where I spent all of last fall and all of this past spring working on becoming a runner. I walked a little bit to warm up, and then I ran two miles.

I don’t want to say how long it took me to run those two miles. But I ran them without stopping, and a year ago I couldn’t even hope to come close. That’s all that matters.

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A Living Suicide

When someone dies, we mourn for the life lost, sure, but more for ourselves.

For our loss.

We inherently understand that we’ll never see that person again. We’ll never talk to them, joke with them, hear them laugh or see them smile. We’ll never have the chance to be there for them again when they need us.

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Why Be So Proud?

A picture I took of the interior of Highland Hall in 2008

Abandoned places have, for whatever reason, always fascinated me. There’s something about what used to be and what is; something about the breakdown. What makes people stop caring for a place? This probably began with a building in my hometown that’s been largely abandoned for many years, Highland Hall (seen in the picture to the left). I could look at photos of abandoned places for hours and never get tired of it. In recent years, I’ve developed a strong curiosity about the abandoned portion of the Pennsylvania Turnpike. Since it’s so close to where I grew up, I’ve got a trip in the works there for this fall.

So when I was in church this past Saturday evening and the sermon began with a story about an abandoned church, I was hooked. In the story, a boy and his grandmother are walking past the church, which is now in ruins, and he asked her what happened to it.

“What you see here is the end of an argument,” the grandmother replied.

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