When we first moved to North Georgia from the very flat low country of the southeast region of the state, I was very intimidated by the hills around our house. To say that running those hills was initially demoralizing, would be an incredible understatement. The funny thing about fear, though, is that the more you refuse to shy away from those things that scare you, the less power they wield over you. I decided I wasn’t going to change what I would normally do (i.e. run the roads and trails surrounding my house), just because of the hills. They have now become an integral part of my training, and have served to strengthen me from injury, and prepare me for events I never would have dreamed of attempting in the past.

I love our hills. They break up the miles, the monotony, the landscape. I feel the uphills strengthening my legs, my lungs, and my heart, and the downhills setting my spirit free and giving me the feeling of flying, of invincibility. The hills have kindled the fire of my love for running in a way I never imagined. Even when I cannot be running the mountains, I can see them. I imagine myself on them, as I run the foothills and dream of the trails that feel like home.

I don’t feel like I am totally recovered from my race a few weeks back, and I am certainly running slower than I would like, but the routes I am taking are beautiful and interesting, so what more could I ask? I am thankful to God every day for providing me with the health of body. It is up to me to come through with the discipline and perseverance to make the most of what I have been given.