Jun 30, 2010

Old stomping grounds

This morning the Littles and I set out on a walk. I revisited a high school running route and was instantly transported back in time.

During the summer of 1993, when I was 14, I was training for a spot on the high school cross country team. I had survived an abysmal ninth-grade track season and was determined to leave the foibles and failures of junior high athletics behind me. So nearly every day I pounded the pavement, coaxing my body into shape. I ran and ran and ran and ran.

I ran past the homes full of kids that I babysat on the weekends. This house had the best food, this family paid the best, these kids drove me crazy. I ran past the home of the boy I liked, hoping he'd happen to look out his window as I sprinted by. I ran past the park where I played softball with the girls from church, past the home of the Young Women leader who always loaned me books to read. I ran past the home of my seminary teacher who later became a General Authority. I ran around eight neighborhood cul-de-sacs, trying to increase distance without really going anywhere. And I always (always) sprinted down El Moro, the last stretch of street before home.

In August that year I made the cross country team. In fact, I spent three years as a varsity runner for Mesa High. Those years cemented my love for running, and my happiest high school memories came from cross country. All of that began on the running route I retraced today.

This morning I walked through that neighborhood a different person. My figure is much rounder and softer and my mile time is roughly double what it was in 1993. I pushed two squirmy tow-heads in the stroller, managed drinks, and answered Gavin's endless questions. I thought fondly of my older boys who could have been zooming on scooters up ahead.
Now I'm the mom paying a babysitter and wondering how I got so old.

Sometimes I long for the simple days (and size 4 figure) of my teenage self. But this life--here, today, right now--is pretty good, too.

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