Running mirrors life

medalWhat a day!  After this, my 20th half marathon over 7 years of running, I’ve learned one thing – you never know what a particular day may bring.  Running mirrors life. You do the best you can with choices you’re given, and the rest is a battle for that ever illusive idea of control.

Jesus’s words also mirror lessons I’ve learned in running – to gain life, you have to lose it. To “lose it”, I view this concept as releasing my need for predictability. For example, if I chose to train a certain way, chose to eat certain foods, and rest like the “experts” tell me, I am guaranteed this particular outcome. So not true. So not life. And catch me in the right mood, I would believe that predictability would be boring.

I’ve LEARNED to say, “thank The Lord above for the adventure of life!” I’ve learned to roll with the bad, KNOWING He has my best in mind. I may not like His plan at the time, but I choose to stand on what He tells me in truth.

All that to say, this race was an adventure. Somehow I knew it would be, just didn’t know how. I prayed that He would show me, and indeed He did.

I awoke early, let out the dog, was greeting by a delightful cool blast of fresh air, grabbed my usual water, and began to stretch.  Thanks in part to my friend Erin, this has been a usual routine for me this summer.  Despite a few hour of sleep due to a wonderful family outing at an Indians game the night before, my body was awake and appeared to be in gear.  We arrived on time, waited a bit longer in the corral than expected, but at 7:12 am, off we went!

girlsAnd… yikes.  Soreness, yep!  But, you’ll have that, perhaps my body will be kind and release the tension before to long.  Mile 4, nope still there.  And… cue my sciatica.  For those of you saying, “What?”  Here’s the definition – Sciatica is a symptom of a condition, where one experiences pain, tingling, and numbness down the bag of the leg.  I call it butt pain.  It comes and goes, today it came.  “Well, hello pain!  And how long do you plan on staying?”  The answer – the entire race, yep.  One of those.  And honesty, around that mile 4 mark, I was changin up my game plan.  New plan – be happy to finish today Heather, just finish.  Why?  Because at the moment, my body is screaming to stop and I still have 9.1 miles to go!  And around mile 6, I actually started to believe that it would be possible to finish, about half way there.

The miles slowly ticked away, I appreciated the park scenery, I re-lived past races along the same course, I watched people as I passed or they passed, certain songs came through my earbuds, and even a friend jumped in and ran with me for a short time.  And I reflected again on the similarities of life and running…

1.  We all have different stories, and yet in this particular leg of life, we started our journey at the same time.

2.  In this season, some of us are able to run, and looking up, some are laying in a hospital bed just a few floors above our vantage point at the starting line.  Their journey also includes pain.  Is it possible that there is purpose in this pain we experience?  Do they know they are not alone?

3.  What motivates us to endure hardship?  What is our default mode as doubt creeps in?  What is it about the “hard” that makes it so “good?”  Today, I was able to trust my training.  I could fall back on the truth of my milage, hill workout, and speed workouts alike.  My body was prepared, strengthened and stretched in a way that recognized the strain happening and even yet to come.  It was almost on “auto-pilot” mode.  The battle for me took place in my mind.  It could land and settle in confidence on this truth.

4.  Perspective.  A song came through my ears at just the right time.  It spoke of Christ and the time in which he endured hardship.  To be honest, in light of my momentary troubles, it doesn’t even some close to the pain that Christ suffered for me.  Enough said.

5.  Take the race one mile at a time.  By breaking a long term goal into sizable chucks, I can celebrate the victory of each step, therefore relegating all negative chatter to the back seat.  A positive mindset will carry me to the finish every time.

6.  I knew I would finish, one way or another, I didn’t want to regret a moment that I couldn’t return to, a moment that I knew wasn’t my best.  And within this desire, I was rewarded a great gift.  This gift I didn’t expect and had let go off way back at mile 4.  I knew a good time was not in the works for today, and I had made peace with that, and then I heard my split time at mile 12, and I knew I had a chance.  I was gifted with a time 1 minute faster than in May, and 2 minutes faster than a year ago.  In all that pain, in all that release, I finished well.  Simply, a gift.

familyAnd I waved to my family on the last corner before crossing the finish line, and I looked up to receive my medal, and there before me was my friend, and my hero.  Another member of the sisterhood of sweat, and she greeted me with a huge smile, and a hug, and a medal.  And I don’t remember feeling the pain, I now just remember the picture, captured by a race photographer, one that will symbolize for me the greatest gift of all – relationships that mirror the love of Christ.  Though this life is short, eternity will be forever.

How will you join Him in this race today?

Advertisements

12 thoughts on “Running mirrors life

  1. What A Great Story For Today Ms. Heather!! So Sorry You Have Issues With Sciatica…I Know Full Well How That Feels I Will Pray For God’s Miraculous Haling For You!!
    Hoping You And Aaron And The Kids Are All Coping With Being Away From Each Other While Aaron Is In Nashville.
    Have A Super AMAZING DAY Ms. Heather 🙂

  2. xoxo so proud of you 🙂 have enjoyed every fun, silly, slow, too fast, painful, free and easy mile we have shared together this summer…

  3. Attractive section of content. I just stumbled upon your
    website and in accession capital to assert that I acquire actually enjoyed account
    your blog posts. Any way I’ll be subscribing to your augment and even I achievement you access consistently quickly.

  4. I’m curious to find out what blog system you happen to be working with?

    I’m experiencing some minor security issues with my latest website
    and I’d like to find something more safe. Do you have any
    suggestions?

  5. Greetings from Carolina! I’m bored at work so I decided to check
    out your blog on my iphone during lunch break. I really like the
    information you present here and can’t wait to take a look when I get home.
    I’m surprised at how fast your blog loaded on my cell phone ..
    I’m not even using WIFI, just 3G .. Anyhow, very good blog!

    http://workwellnl.ca

  6. I’ve been surfing online greater than 3 hours these days, yet I by no
    means found any interesting article like yours.
    It is pretty worth enough for me. In my view, if all website owners and
    bloggers made excellent content material as you did, the web will be much more helpful than ever
    before.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s