Well, this post is later than we’d hoped and many of you have started asking, “are you all still alive?!” Yes, but our recent mid-Lent festivities (Solemnity of St. Patrick on Friday, the half-marathon challenge, then Sunday and the Solemnity of St. Joseph) have kept us from our computers. So now, here’s the pics and highlights from the nuns’ half-marathon challenge.
Our day started before sunrise. We’d checked the fundraising status of our brothers the night before and had our distances calculated. We were excited for how much they’d raised, but we were also realistic – we’d not trained to run an entire half-marathon! And we had to keep our prayer and community obligations schedule (liturgy of the hours, adoration times, etc.). So, after Lauds and a good breakfast, we laced up our shoes and headed out.
This picture was taken after we’d been out for about 20 minutes. Keep your eyes open for raccoons, Sister!
As we began ticking off the miles, we silently prayed our rosaries, remembering our brothers who would also be heading out for their run in a few short hours – that they would run well, remain uninjured and finish strong. After completed a few miles, we headed in to prepare for Mass, then returned to our work outside.
We were blessed with overcast skies, yet comfortable temperatures. And the experience was a true slice of our life. Each sister kept her own pace, yet you knew you were not out there alone. Once in a while, you’d catch sight of another sister across the way, and the two of you would smile and wave in encouragement and keep going on the mission.
The event also stressed another blessing to community life: we challenge each other to go farther than we thought we could and we moderate those who would take on more than they should.
During a break near the end of the run, one of the sisters teasingly commented to another, “you know, when I proposed this idea to you, I was thinking we’d divide the half-marathon distance and each do a few miles. Then, the next thing I know, we’re doing a matching run and now I’m doing a half-marathon!” To which the other sister replied with a smile, “Well then, your first mistake was telling me.” At the end, most of us said we’d never think of taking on a half-marathon had it not been for this proposal and the “peer pressure” of community competition, as every sister was glad she did it.
Dominic’s Ninth Way of Prayer
When our Holy Father Dominic would travel, he would often withdraw from his companions to pray and meditate as he walked. Though we didn’t leave the cloister, we were reminded of his ninth way of prayer as we ran or walked our cloister grounds. “You know, I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to pray decade after decade of the Rosary for the time it would take me to complete the 13.1 miles,” acknowledged one of the sisters after we’d finished. “But God gave me a real grace and a beautiful time of prayer. I began to reflect on all the journeys represented in the Rosary mysteries – Mary’s journey to visit Elizabeth, the journey up the mountain at the Transfiguration, and then the return to Jerusalem, and so on. And I thought about our journey through our time on earth- the marathon of our monastic vocation and our ultimate finish.”
When all was said and done, all the sisters completed the half-marathon distance and 126 decades of the Rosary were prayed for our brothers, our elderly friars and the benefactors who generously gave to support them. We are proud of the strong showing our brothers made in their run and are so grateful to be a part of this Dominican family.
Bonus Burpees for the Brothers!
Now our community keeps asking the novitiate sisters, “What will you do next?” We simply smile and say, “through God’s providence, we’ll see where the Spirit leads!”