Since June, my mom has battled severe pneumonia. It got so bad she spent eight days in the hospital and has been off work for three months.
My mom is a runner. She was training for a half marathon (13.1 miles) when pneumonia knocked her for a loop. When I visited her in late July, she struggled to walk up and down the driveway. But she made a comment that encouraged me.
She said, "Even though I could walk in any shoes, I'm putting on my running shoes. I have two goals, one to get back to work and two to get back to running."
Such a small action, but each day, as she walked, she was choosing to focus on a goal she'd set for herself. She was mentally telling herself every day; I will run, and to run, I must lace up my shoes and start walking.
Yesterday, I told her I was going for a run. She said, "I'll come with you. I ran four minutes last week. Two minutes and a break and then two more minutes. My goal tonight is ten minutes."
As we go through tough times, we might need to start small, and that is okay. Two minutes of running doesn't seem like much, but when you were in a hospital bed or could barely walk up the driveway, two minutes of running is significant progress.
We laced up our shoes and hit the trails. I couldn't believe the pace she kept. She was step by step with me and chatting up a storm. It's hard enough to chat when you are in shape, let alone recovering from pneumonia.
"Mom, we are at six minutes; how are you feeling?" I asked.
"Great!" she replied.
"Mom, we are at ten minutes. Awesome job!" I exclaimed.
"I'm going to keep going to twelve." She stated.
"Mom, we are almost at thirteen minutes. Do you think you can go fifteen?" I asked.
"I can if you keep talking." She replied.
"You got it!" And I proceeded to chat away for two more minutes.
I can't tell you what a huge accomplishment running fifteen minutes was for my mom. As we ate dinner, she already set her eyes on trying to run half of the half marathon and walk the other half. It's in November.
I didn't want to burst her bubble, but I said, "Let's see where you are at the end of October."
My mom is under close doctor's care, and it was running that probably saved her life. She was in excellent physical condition before pneumonia. And her recent appointment with her pulmonologist, he encouraged her to get back to running.
So, next time you are going through a tough time, think of my mom, set a small goal, and do something every day, even if it's as simple as lacing up your shoes, to help you focus on the good that is on the other side of your current trial.
Inspirational Speaker and Award-Winning Author of “The Giving Challenge: 40 Days to a More Generous Life” and "The Gratitude Challenge: 41 Days to a Happier, Healthier, & More Content Life"