Rebecca Burtram
PARENTING, running

Running From the Old Woman

Running From the Old Woman
woman wearing black and white run printed pullover hoodie
Photo by EVG photos on

I’ve recently begun to train for a marathon. Don’t panic, the race is over six months from now. Also, let’s be realistic, I am not running a race. I am entering an event, which I plan to finish.

I am clearly a young, fit, strong, fast, insert other positive and healthy adjectives here, woman. Here is the deal though: every time I go running, only a chubby, old, slow, lady shows up. She is the same woman whom I see in glimpses as I pass my reflection in the grocery store windows or the security monitor.

At first, I didn’t recognize her. However, the more often I see her, the more familiar this strange woman becomes.

I’ve decided it might be time to contact the authorities because she has started to hold me hostage. No matter what I do, I can’t escape her. I can’t run enough to get away from her.

I try to avoid restaurants where I might see her, but I get a craving for Chick-Fil-A, and God knows that aging woman with a soft round belly is there. She is getting old, not stupid.

You would think I’d be able to get away since she is always tired. However, by the time I get through work, helping with homework, cleaning from dinner, and driving the kids all over, I realize I don’t have time or energy to do anything but meet her on the couch and snuggle right in with her.

I know age is just a state of mind, but someone should tell that to my body because she is pretty sure that I am pushing 40 when my mind is still hanging out in the late 20s. Good thing running is a mental sport.

If you see a slightly graying, chubby woman running at a “relaxed” pace, be sure to cheer loudly for her. Somewhere inside, trying really hard to come out, is a young woman ready to conquer the world one mile at a time.

By Rebecca Burtram

I am a woman in my mid thirties figuring out how to balance an intense need for perfection with the reality of my own imperfections. The answer I am finding is grace.....and plenty of it.
As a mother of three, a teacher, a church planter, and a runner, I have many opportunities to practice giving myself and others the grace I need to survive.

Grace and Imperfection:

The River Walk (Guest Author on Fridays):

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