Friday, September 9

Answered Prayer 9/9/16

Redwood Regional Park
      Last week, on Wednesday, I ran 14.2 miles (22.85 km).

       In the wooded mountains of a re-gional park located on the skyline of Oakland.  In that time, forty-three stories were climb-ed. Yes, forty-three.

       The goal was a run of 10 miles (16.09 km).  The week before I ran 8.5 miles at Lake Chabot.  The extra 4.2 miles run on Wednesday hap-pened because I got lost, turned around.  The twisty paths in the forested Oakland hills caused that.

      At the beginning, after the first fifth of a mile, I no desire to run.  But the following quote inspired me:
"In the conflict between the stream and the rock that lays within, the water wins.  It overcomes the stone, round-ing it.  Not by brute strength but through perseverance." 
       Motivated by this truth, I chugged ahead, ignoring the exhaustion assaulting me.

       A harrier once again.  A folded map of this regional park was in a pocket of my shorts.  The rangers said the distance of the planned trek was eight miles.

        My Fitbit, using GPS declared otherwise.  After running and climbing hills for three+ hours in a trip that I thought would be shorter, I was wiped out, physically.

        I had a 4:30 p.m. session with a client.  My calculations for my time in the park were wrong.  During the journey, I became disoriented.  And hot, thirsty.

Canyon Trail.  It goes straight uphill.  Ugh. 
       Part of my journey included the Canyon Trail. An uphill climb of two miles.  No, thank you.  I had completed 8 miles (12.87 km).  Phy-sically drained, I took a "short-cut."  I ran out the entrance of Red-wood Park, going further up Skyline Road.

       It was a mistake.  A dangerous one, too.  Cars whizzed by this twisty curvy road.  They did not expect a crazy man to be running on that road, especially during the hottest portion of the day.

        I pushed on.  I would hear the roar of a car zooming up the moun-tain, behind me.  When the squealing wheels reached me, I'd stop.  I climbed the inclined dirt shoulder of the road.  Like a bullfighter, I watched as the car scrape by, making sure the car did not catch my hip.

       The astonished looks of the drivers---as they confronted me, con-veyed, "What are you doing??"  Their looks met mine, filled with fear.  I dreamed of flying.  But, soaring because a car smacked into me was not the way I envisioned.  That day I did my best to not be roadkill.

Not only believing, but in having perseverance.
       Being a greasy smudge on the street or leaving my mark in this world as a pressed image, grounded into a road above the city of Oakland had no ap-peal. Even though weary, I came to my senses.

      I reversed course.

      The run was sap-ping my strength.  I hadn't run ten miles in more than ten years.  The 91 F. (32.77 C) degree heat made matters worse.

       I had to return to my car.  This was not like running around the block.  I was seven miles from where I started.  Re-entering the park, I ran through the hilly woods towards my car.

       I prayed when reaching the intersection of Skyline and Joaquin Miller.  "God, please help.  I need a ride," I pleaded.  "I can't run much more."  I had miles to go after already running 13.95 miles.
       I was behind schedule.  No way was I going to make my appointment.

       After my peti-tion, I ran 565 steps, more.  One-fifth of a mile, uphill, accord-ing to Fitbit.   Then it happened.  A car pulled over.  Its lights flashing.  The back door opened.  A miracle!

        I pumped my arms wildly, breathing rapidly, as I raced to the car. I pulled the door wide.  A woman was stepping out.  Her husband was dropping her off at work.  No miracle, here.

        I was mistaken.  My heart was not only beating wildly, but crushed.

        The couple was Hispanic.  I spoke to them in Spanish. The woman said her husband would help.  I was relieved better than having a cool drink of water on that blistering day!  He took me 3.1 miles (5 km)---uphill---to where my car was.
This can happen even when you are running. 
      My misun-derstanding why the car  pulled over and had its lights flash-ing paid off.  God answer-ed prayer.  I was thrilled to sit in an air condition-ed car.  It was heartening, God working on my behalf when I was at the nadir of my despair that day.

       Since then, I ran a race Sat-urday, 9/10/15.  It was a 5K, 3.1 miles with hills. My consistent running---190 miles (305.7 km) a month, in the hills---since May, paid off.  I came in fifth, beating out others in their 20's, 30's and forties.  I passed two in their twenties, in the last thirty yards.

       I got a medal.  I'll fill you in with the details when there's time. Many lessons learned while racing in Concord, California. 


Anonymous said...

Thank you for your story of perseverance. It's very inspiring. Thank you for being a wonderful counselor and friend.

Thumper said...


I am so happy that all ended well for you and that you are safe and sound. God was listening and watching over you that day. He had you in the palm of his hand.

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