Chelle Summer

climbing hills

The Hill

Michelle Rusk

The hill in the photo might not look like much but if you're standing at the bottom of it, it's quite steep. And for the eight years that I've been visiting Sam and Lois Bloom, I was never able to run up the hill that leads to their house without stopping. 

It's silly because I'm a runner and I realize it's all mental. I attribute it to what I now call my running laziness because I'm older and I don't tend to push myself so hard.

However, six months ago when we were visiting Sam and Lois, I decided I needed to get up that hill in one swoop. And I did. And then I did it again.

But in August I had an accident with my German Shepherd, Lilly– as I was going up the stairs in the house, she was running down and her head ran right in my knee. It wasn't until a week later when I couldn't run at all did I realize what had happened. For two months I couldn't run, a severe bone bruise like nothing I'd ever had before

I'm back running but I'll admit it's not the same. I was getting into such a good place prior to the accident and now wham! I'm a slow poke again. When we went off to California last week to see the Blooms, I was a little nervous about the hill. I wanted to make it up there but I didn't feel physically or mentally I was in the same place as six months before.

As I ran up it, using my arms to help pull me, I wanted to stop. But I didn't because I knew if I did, it meant I'd have to try it again the next day. That meant for twenty-hours I'd been thinking about how I didn't make it up the hill. I'd have another chance but rather than becoming stronger by actually getting up the hill without stopping, it would be like being sent back to go again.

And so I didn't stop. Or the next day either. While I still don't feel as strong as I did back in the summer, I made it up the hill without stopping. Twice.

My life is filled with hills. No year is perfect or without challenges. But I'm working to tackles the hills one by one and I find that once I do, I move onto something else, stronger and better than before.

Happy New Year, everyone!