I'm a runner.

If you didn't know, I am a "runner". Why the use of air quotes you might ask? Well, it means that I run about the same speed that I walk. Today I was out jogging with my 6 month old and saw a girl a little ways in front of me speed walking with her double stroller and dog. I gave myself the goal of at least catching up to her and overtaking her before I stopped to walk. Let's just say that it took a liiiiiiiittle while longer than I had anticipated. This girl walks crazy fast! And I run crazy slow. So put those two things together and that distance you thought was short suddenly becomes a seemingly unreachable goal....especially in 1000% humidity and heat.

By the time I caught up to her I was at the bottom of a nasty hill in my grandparents' neighborhood that I always make a point of running up instead of walking for the extra calories burned. So up I go. I run. And I am exhausted by the time I reach the top. I get to my goal spot on the verge of collapsing and begin walking. Within no more than three minutes who should pass me but the girl I tried so hard to over take. And she's walking. I hang my head in shame.

Aberdeen Scotland UK Family Photographer

She has longer legs, I tell myself. She was only walking so she could go faster, I tell myself. She isn't going as far as me, I tell myself. In reality, she's probably been doing that speed walking way longer than I have been running or at least has been more consistent with it than me.

I eventually admit my defeat and head home knowing that I have yet one more hill to conquer on that journey. Boy, oh boy. This neighborhood is killer. Some of these hills are certainly not easy and you want to die. Ok not really, but you really do want to give up.

I approached the last hill with the least bit of desire to climb it. They aren't necessarily steep but they are long and gradually grow. In the midst of it I wanted to stop but by the time I reached the top I was like, heck yes! Let's do five more of these! Ha! Just kidding. I certainly did not think that! But what I did think was how when I was at the bottom of the hill, I was struck with the height of it and how tiring it was going to be to climb. Then halfway through I really wanted to stop and quit. But by the time I reached the top I looked back down and oh how small the hill actually was. 

I'm sure you can see where I'm going with this. I'm sure that many of us are climbing our own mountain, hill, munro, cliff, sand dune. I'm sure most of us are battling some situation or struggle that seems like will never end or that we will never rise above. But even out of the worst of situations there will be that, heck yes I did it! moment. No, I don't know your situation and I don't know the pain and anguish and sadness that you feel. I wish I could take it away but I do know that the top of your mountain is in sight. Keep running, friends. Keep climbing but if you grow weary stop for water. Don't forget to refresh yourself and your soul. Those hills can be steep and you might run at 3 miles per hour but you will get there. You'll emerge stronger and with a killer pair of legs. ;)

Shine bright, friends.

Aberdeen Scotland UK Destination Family Photographer