8 days straight. I can't tell you the last time I ran 8 days straight. 4 days here and there...maybe. I started back on Saturday, the 29th, at my 6th Annual WaterFalls Run in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park with 7 miles. Over 60 miles later, I ran an easy 6 at sunrise yesterday morning. What's super cool is that I felt stronger with each passing day. I will admit, though...some days, I didn't want to lace up those shoes and in fact, I felt weak. By the end of the run, though, I was thankful I ran and felt all the more strong because of it. I do know, though, based on my years of running, injuries, successes and failures, that rest is MANDATORY. It is today...a rest day, that I can rebuild those muscles that have been torn down and then start building on that tomorrow.
There was a major highlight of yesterday's run...the ending. Well, just prior to the ending when the sun cracked the horizon. I was away from my normal running route and had my iPhone with me. I saw this gorgeous sunrise in front of me behind a lifeless, leafless tree and stopped to capture the few moments where everything was just PERFECT. It's not photo-shopped or anything but I did use Instagram. I love it...and it deserves to be framed and on a wall somewhere!
I posted my stance on that whole issue along with pics of the whole process. That tattoo is on the outside of my right calf and represents freedom and service to my country in the Navy. Pretty cool that the eagle's wings wrap a bit around my calf so if you're running behind me, you'll see the tips of the wings. Well, I've always wanted to get another one on the outside of my left calf...but what? The "what" theme has always been the same: I wanted a cross...an empty cross...and I wanted it to represent Christ's sacrifice for me and His eternal promise to me. That empty cross is why I live today. There was a day not too far in my past where I found myself at the end of the road with a decision to make. Had He not been there, I'm not so sure I'd be typing this today. So I finally stopped by Defiance Tattoo in Kent on Thursday. "Pops," the owner, did my first one and I wanted to share my ideas for the second. I envisioned eagle's wings again behind the cross and not much more. I wanted the empty cross to be the main object and the wings to be secondary. He did his sketch and I love it. They aren't stretched up in flight, but more at peace across the center and behind the cross. The cross will be a passive red and old-school-lookin'...like an old iron cross. The wings will be black and gray shaded. To protect his art, I won't post his sketch but if you'd like to offer your opinion about it before it's done, contact me and I'll share it with you. I'd really appreciate any feedback you'd care to share with me. So, the plan is for this Friday night after work. By the way, my belief is that anything permanent like this should mean "something" powerful and be very personal. I don't just want to "like it" because you know what? I may hate it tomorrow. So, I believe I've said why the empty cross and the red color should be obvious. As for the wings, they represent freedom...the freedom granted by the blood shed for me..freedom from the chains of sin, from defeat of the enemy, and honestly, the feeling that flows from knowing that no matter what I face in this world, I ultimately have a eternal promise that awaits. So if you want to see the sketch, let me know. Otherwise, I'll share once his work is complete.
Have a great new week, everyone. Choose to live it out selflessly!