It Never Gets Easier, You Get Stronger

When I first started running I was under the impression that eventually it would get easy. I had read all these posts from runner’s about how they had ran 5 “easy miles.” I kept waiting for my easy miles. (I’m still waiting!)  Then I came across the statement, “It never gets easier, you get stronger.” Yes! Finally the truth!

Let me be clear, some runs are harder than others. Depending on how tried, stressed, hungry, or hydrated I am affects my runs. I have discovered the weather is not much of a factor. I won’t run on ice, I’m old, I might fall and break a hip. Even with my fear of lightning, I have run in it a couple of times. It was exhilarating! Not advisable though, and if it is lightning I don’t think “Yay, let’s get out there!” I just don’t freak out anymore about it.

On the days that I am well rested and feeling great, running is still hard. The thing is, regardless of any of that stuff, I still am able to run. I can run longer, farther and faster than I could 2 years ago. I have more stamina for day to day activities, and I feel 1000x better. I am stronger.

The title phrase also applies to life. My great uncle, Charlie Hall passed away recently. He was my grandmother Estes’ baby brother. He was born and raised in the Ash Flat area. He left Sharp County after high school. He  served our country in  World War II. He attended the University Of Arkansas, and received a PhD from Kansas State University. Uncle Charlie was such a sweet, humble,  wonderful Christian man. He also developed the Crimson Sweet Watermelon and several others.

He and his family lived in several different states during his lifetime and at the time of his death he lived in Colorado. A long time ago he told his family when it came his time, he wanted to be brought home and buried beside his mother. This past weekend his wishes were honored.

The Hall family is scattered all over the U.S., but many made the trip back to Ash Flat for Uncle Charlie.  I did not realize until this past weekend, that I am the last living descendant of my great-grandparents Dolphus and Hester Hall to still live in Sharp County.  As our family gathered to say our goodbyes I was hit with the realization that I may never see many of my relatives again. Uncle Charlie was the last “common denominator” we had.  Other than sentimental reasons, most won’t have a reason to come back to Sharp County.  We aren’t exactly a tourism Mecca here.

All of this weighed so heavy on my heart. Saturday night when we got home, it all finally hit me. Uncle Charlie’s passing made me think and miss my own dad and my grandmother so very, very much.  Knowing there was a good chance I wouldn’t see many of my relatives again, broke my heart. The Hall’s are such good people. Hard working, humble, kind and a joy to be around. I am so proud to be a member of this family.

The last conversation I had with Charlie’s son Marc, he said, “I don’t know what I’m going to do. We talked 2-3 times every day.” I thought about that a lot. My dad died 6 years ago this April. Not a day goes by that I don’t think of him and miss him. So often there is something I need to tell him.  I need his advice about a cow, consoling about an injured pet, to be the buffer between Mother and me, and to remind me that Phillip is a saint for sticking it out with me this long. But, I don’t get to. Grief doesn’t get easier, you just get stronger.

Run happy.



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