That Kind of Woman (if you want to be a better wife)

“The best way to run faster… is to run faster.”

I’m sure I said this at some point every speed workout during the last decade.  How annoying if you happened to be present at every one.  I’m really sorry ’bout that, but I can’t promise I won’t say it again at the next one.

Because it’s true.

I can’t tell you how many athletes I’ve had the opportunity to coach, who somehow think that they can run a faster time by training for lots of miles at the same, safe pace.

Sure, there are plenty of techniques available to tweak running form and improve speed,  but at some point, you must get out there with all your light feet and perfect strides and run wildly faster than you are comfortable running.

For those of you who dislike rigorous exercise, sweat, or track workouts, running hard and fast is scary and requires much of you.  Running really fast uses all the life-giving systems in your body and can mess with your mind and even your instincts.

It completely depletes you.

You’ll rarely be more nervous, nauseas and sore than before and after a speed workout. Chills and cramps, throwing up a little, feeling light-headed and overwhelmed are just par for the course.  Sound fun?  Doesn’t that description just inspire you to skip on out the door in your Nikes?

Well, do you want to run faster, or not?

“Those are little flags that your body isn’t interested in getting this uncomfortable…” I like to say.  If looks could kill I’d be dead a million times over.

I remind myself of these truths as I am eye-balling two new challenges at the moment.

1. “The best way to become a better writer…is to write.”

2. “The best way to become a better wife…is to be a better wife.”

You might have one to add to the list?

In regards to the first challenge, I have recently been afforded the time, the space and the quiet for writing.  Lots of space.  And time.  And quiet.

Yesterday my eldest, overly observant teenage son looked at me and and noted brightly, “I’m glad to see you did your hair today! It’s been awhile and…lately…ah….you’ve let your hair…umm…” He wasn’t wrong, and bravely soldiered on, “…but I know it’s just because you don’t have anyone to meet or anywhere to go”. Sigh.

With the gift of time that I have here at the farm this year, I’m timidly lacing up my writing shoes, warming up ever-so-slowly around the outskirts of the track, stretching, taking nervous pee breaks.  To be a better writer, I need to write.

As for becoming a better wife, this takes all of me.

The best way to be a better wife, is to be a better wife.

I know what a better wife looks like.  I know how she speaks gentleness and leans in when she listens. I know how she turns her face towards love when she could turn her back and be justified.

I want to be that woman.

How hard can it be to have a warm smile when he returns home?

Apparently for me, impossible.

My wifely techniques are scrubbed and shiny. Family dinners on the farm are nutritional and visual beauty. I clean the splintery oak floors with lavender scented water (no one notices, but I truly don’t mind). I grow flowers and crunchy vegetables, tend chickens and birds, gather fresh eggs.  I send the kids off after a hot breakfast and lots of kisses.

Better skills and techniques don’t interest me in this moment.

I want to be a better wife in the deepest and most honest places, to run the race long and well, inside and out.

Psalms 119 cheers from the bleachers.

“The unfolding of your words gives light; It brings understanding to the simple”

Oh, that my heart may be melted and changed through the unfolding of the words that bring life.

Bring understanding and light to me, the simple.  

Time to lace up the running shoes and turn it up a notch.

Tonight, how will I greet him at the door?

(This is a repost from September, in honor of Valentines Week)

4 responses to That Kind of Woman (if you want to be a better wife)

  1. Rebecca says:

    Kim, If you want to be a better writing and that means writing more than I will be a better reader and that means reading more. Your last posting on Ella’s month of gifts and the better wife message are aspirational and inspiring and outside of my comfort zone. I intend to take the challenge over the next month. I love you girlfriend!


    p.s. welcome to my world. I don’t like to do my hair or clothes because my dogs look at me as if I have deserted them. It’s not so bad and you just may grow to enjoy it! RUN back to the put together life now before it is too late!

  2. Anonymous says:

    I adore you Kimberly Joy Everswick Hall!! Even if our paths don’t cross for a decade, I am so blessed you are still a part of my life, and someone I think of for guidance when I need a “what would kim say” or what part of my body would kim smack if she heard some of my “blue” thoughts…..
    Thank you for writing.
    Thank you for sharing.
    Thank you for being you.
    Happy Valentines Day, Sweet Kimmy.
    ~ JJG

  3. Given Breath says:

    JJG – We are on the same coast, for goodness sakes! When are we getting together????? Thank you for your precious note and you know the feeling is 100% mutual. Love you. xo

  4. Given Breath says:

    Rebecca. You are such a champion. Thanks for the note and I am excited to hear about how your challenge goes this month!

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