March 19, 2014

Wearing my heart on my sleeve

I feel strong after I run.

And it's not just about physical strength. Sure it feels great to push my legs past their limits while climbing steeper hills and travelling longer distances. A rush of endorphins is exhilarating. Tired lungs and pumping blood remind of how far I've come and how much further I have to go.

But at the end of a run, I am aware of more than just my physical strength. I feel at home in my skin. All of it. My spotty red face is a melting pot of dried sweat and makeup smudges, a messy combination that melds well after a few splashes of water. It's one of the few times I feel content to go without makeup. 

In this moment, it matters less what my body looks like and more what my body can do. Callused toes, achy hips and tight hamstrings harmonize in a celebratory show of what I accomplished, every kilometre I trekked.

After I run, I feel strong and confident and beautiful. 

During a run with my dad on a grey Saturday afternoon, I was finally able to articulate why I bought this shirt.

"It's who I am and who I want to be. It's both my present and future."

Buying a shirt isn't going to capture how I feel after I go for a run. It doesn't bottle those feelings up and apply them liberally whenever I pull it over my head. 

It does, however, serve as the reminder I need. The one that tells me that I'm strong, confident and beautiful even when I don't feel it. It reminds me I am enough. It reminds me of the source of my strength. It reminds me of the sufficient (abundant) grace and the power that is made perfect in my weakness. 

She is strong. (And confident. And beautiful.)

(As are you.)

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