Now for those of you who know me well, you know I’ve just recently become a runner. I am still very much a beginner, and not fast or smooth by any means (I’m not even sure if “smooth” running is a thing). But I’ve been working up to it. And I’m starting to like it—starting. So when I was packing to come to China, I brought my running shoes, just in case I would have the chance to keep it up during the trip. I haven’t yet, until today. But this jog was definitely one of a kind.
Please picture this with me:
The streets are teeming with people; always, but especially at rush hour. Of course, I chose to hit the streets at 5. So here’s me, a foreigner, running and weaving through the crowds in this relatively “calm” neighborhood. And if that wasn’t enough of a scene already, of course the only sweats I brought are bright green pants and a purple sweatshirt. There wasn’t really anything I could do to blend into the background.
It was a new experience for me, running in front of so many people in a culture where people don’t really just run for sport. It required confidence on a whole new level.
All considered, I’m glad I did. It’s been a journey for me, spending this month here and picturing what life will be like here. I won’t be living out of a suitcase, I won’t have a monthly stash of dark chocolate to satisfy my sweet tooth cravings, I won’t have the comfort of seeing family and friends after a few short weeks, and I will have to face the fact that I can’t run through the neighborhood without people staring (yes, even with different color pants). Life will be very different than it is now. It’s a bittersweet picture… Nevertheless, I choose to find my confidence in Him, for he is a mighty fortress and a sacred refuge.