I thought about the difference a year makes on Tuesday when I climbed the thirty or so stairs to my now weekly doctor's appointment. Each week I approach those stairs with vigor, determined not to take the elevator until I have to. As I got to the top, huffing and puffing, I thought about the stairs I was running last year at this time.
Spring always seems to do this to me; to stop me in my tracks and make me reflect on the happenings of the past year. Maybe it is the fact that I am stuck between the slowness of winter and the anticipation of cookouts and flip flops that summer brings. Or maybe it really boils down to the fact that most of the major shaping that has taken place in my life over the past few years has been in April and May. (More thoughts on May here).
A year ago, Stacie & I were running stairs a couple mornings a week in preparation for the mountains I would climb in Israel. The year before that, we were doing the same, only in preparation for the Riverbank 25k Run. During each of those stair climbing seasons, I found sacredness in quiet mornings of driving to the beach and running in the early morning hours along trails, climbing until our legs and lungs burned.
I know I am only climbing stairs once a week now, which is exactly as often as I would prefer as this baby continues to take shape and take up what feels like every inch of me. However, I still have that same sense of quiet preparation taking place this month for the climb to come. In a physical sense, for the delivery of this little life and the joyful moments of meeting him or her and in a deeper sense as our life is shifting from "we" to "three". In my experience, sometimes the climb is really tough, excruciating in fact but the view from the top always makes it worth while.
A few of my favorite post-climb views: