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In For the Long Hall

 


Tomorrow marks forty-five years I've been running long distance. I ran when the medical field  tried to stop me...  they told me what was going to fail.. how I would die... how I would be undesirable to a man... how my knees would fail me by age thirty... my heart would fail me by age twenty-three... how I'd suffer great medical issues... My relatives, with the exception of my Mother told me running long distance would ruin my life... NO, it ruined their opinion... They lost. The medical field misdiagnosed me over thirty times... I had people criticize me even to this day for my running at odd hours, so I could work full time, yet be there for my husband and our daughters, still cook meals, work and clean our home, and care for our children.  I gave up the frills of sleeping in, gladly. I gave up coffee clutches, gossip, hair appointments, fancy clothing, etc... In the end I saved us money... four years ago my husband remarked, "I'm so glad you invested in fitness and not make up, hair and nail appointments, You are my 'ivory girl'.   If you can remember the old commercial... that is what he meant. I made certain as he was aging, he didn't think I  noticed it. I had him race a fifty miler in celebration of his 50th birthday.  It was great! Our daughters ages two and four, me with the double baby jogger and station wagon into tow, crewed him to the finish line. Being a long distance runner to me is about hope... inspiring others... gaining ground in gender equality...  I have beaten men and  women beating all outright  in three races. Set a North American Record in my forties  Yes, I'm entitled to stake my claim.  170,000 miles and counting ...through abduction/crime, fractures in legs, ribs, spine, arms, face...I've   ran... Unrelenting 45 below  and 130 degrees Fahrenheit... I didn't die even with birth defects.  Yes, I have those. So tomorrow when my Maker grants me His good grace to arise, I'll set out  to do so... because I think I  can...and because I just never know the beauty I might encounter.---Jody-Lynn  Reicher  

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