Monday, June 7, 2010
Ok everyone, I get the message. I don’t call, I don’t write… Last time I felt this kind of pressure was when I was 9-years-old in sleep-away camp! So here I am, back in the blogosphere to let you know that all is well here in Machane Efrat. Where have I disappeared to for the last 4 months? I’ve been running around. Literally. (And also figuratively.) I now start almost every morning with a 4, 5, or 6 mile run around the Judean Hills. Can your rebbetzin do that? I couldn’t always. When we moved here almost 9 months ago, I could barely walk up my own street without getting out of breath. Then sometime around January I decided to walk around my block, then run, and then run some more. I haven’t stopped running since. I’m not really sure why. I’ve lost some weight, but not enough to make it worth my while due to my weakness for a certain Israeli food. Not falafel, not even schwarma, but its ‘cariot’ that I can’t resist. It’s a chocolate covered cereal filled with chocolate nougat that totally grosses me out as a breakfast cereal, but is just right for a snack that I can pretend is nutritious. It’s junk posing as good stuff. Hey, that kind of reminds me of the flotilla incident…but I digress. Back to running. Something is compelling me to run. Sometimes I think that I am making up for lost time. You get a mitzvah for every step that you take in Eretz Yisrael, so imagine the spiritual mileage I’m getting out of my morning escapades! And then there is the teaching that the air of Eretz Yisrael makes one wiser. Man, do I breath deep going up those killer inclines. I’ll be Einstein by August. Breathing deep also serves to calm and center me before I start my day, so I stress less and can better handle things like the dog emptying the garbage. Again. It also thrills me to no end to think that I am running on the same hills that our ancestors walked (or ran) on. I feel a deep connection with the land. I am now intimately acquainted with just about every brick and brush on my running trail. I guess this is my version of picking oranges on a kibbutz. But in the end, I think the thing that keeps me going is the idea that I am doing something that I never thought possible. I am pushing myself beyond limits I thought unbreakable. I am doing the unthinkable, for me anyway. This belief has served me well as I, and the world for that matter, stand at a crossroads. As we build our lives from nothing into something, I need to believe that the best is possible. I need to believe that challenges are surmountable. That I won’t crumble under the pressure. I have learned, physically and spiritually to smell the magnificent fragrances of our land and to appreciate the breath taking beauty, even as I struggle to put one foot in front of the other. I have learned that success comes one step at a time and that growth comes at the point where we struggle most. I have literally experienced the cliché that ‘what does not break us only makes us stronger.’ Then, as I sail down those hills that I ascended with such great difficulty, I experience the joy of reaching goals once thought unattainable. And then I know in my heart that anything is possible or as Herzl put it “If you will it, it’s no dream.”
So what are you waiting for? Stop giving the runaround and GO somewhere. Maybe here. As we say in athlete-speak “JUST DO IT!”
DISCLAIMER – if in 2 weeks or 2 years I stop running, put on weight, and get breathless going up the stairs of my home, no one is ever allowed to mention this particular post again.