I remember it well. It was a cool, crisp March evening that I decided to start climbing my mountain. Or should I say my 5K training mountain on my treadmill. I was excited and had the mindset that this was going to be easy. I ran track in high school – sprints.

I’m sure it has to be similar.

I organized my area: treadmill, posted my Couch Potato to 5K in 12 week training sheet, calendar to mark off my progress and taped pictures of my 3 kids for motivation. My motivation was my kids but particularly my son Tyler.

We lost him to a car accident in August of 2013. I remember him always getting up by himself early each summer morning to weight lift and run. I decided if he could do it I could do it too! So with water bottle in hand and music playing I started my new journey. Some days were easier than others. I began tracking and learning more about long distance running on the internet.

There were many obstacles.

I had to play games with my head like, “just run for one more song.” Once I got there then I could focus on the next goal. Mountains, yes there were mountains especially om the days that were cold, when I was tired and I just didn’t feel like running. That is when the pictures came in to play. I would get on the treadmill and focus on my kids so much it was like nothing else mattered. It was also my therapy. I would pray, talk to God, yell at him, cry and sing as out of tune as I wanted. There were times it was so hard but I knew my goal was marked on the calendar for August 22, 2015. It was the day of my son Tyler’s memorial 1mile/5K run that I would participate in.

The difference in training for this and other things I have done was the focus. Laser focus or tunnel vision is what I would call it. I don’t think I have ever had a feeling like that. Once I got on the treadmill and later outside on the road, I knew in my head I was not letting anything get in my way. My perspective and life experiences have changed since Tyler’s accident. I can totally see my perspective now. Getting through my training was a small daily activity. Just like my perspective on grieving the loss of my son. I would take it minute by minute, hour by hour and day by day so it didn’t seem as overwhelming. Many days I looked at the mountains I had to overcome and wondered how I would ever get through it, over it or around it.

I believe God sees the mountains we have to overcome and he can part them, if he chooses.

No matter what obstacle you are facing right now God never tells us to “Get over it!” He walks beside us and encourages us every bit of the way, no matter how long the journey. Just know every mountain you encounter will make you stronger and reveal courage you never knew you had. Trust me – there will be more mountains to climb, but they will be easier because you will be stronger and equipped to climb them. God will be walking right by your side through the valleys and hills all the way to the top of the mountain where you will see the glorious view.

I believe our life is like my training. It’s a process, it’s not always easy, it is not important to be fast, but steady to climb the mountain one step at a time.

Missy Hillmer

I am Ma to the four Shorties. I am married to Craig, fellow educator and college football fanatic. Jesus and a good cup of coffee make me a happy girl. Teaching middle school science and front porch rockin’ are two of my many daily adventures.