Wednesday, July 10, 2013

A Reason to Survive

Before I headed out this morning I knew it was hot. I also knew that I was pretty tired and not feeling my best, and that's not always a winning combination. But because I run when the aide got here, I ran anyway. Just over a mile and I felt very sluggish. My legs felt like they were carrying an extra 25 pounds a piece (and no I haven't gained THAT much weight! lol). I started thinking that this run was a lot like my life.

Over the last 4.5 years I have lived in what I call the furnace. Life is just one big trial; and like today's run - it can be stifling at times. I could probably use it all for an excuse and really no one would blame me. I was thinking about how my run and my life were so parallel as I was coming around mile 2. Here's pretty much my thought process: Ugh! This run is just like my life - heavy, tiring, strength-sapping and stifling hot. Lots of excuses...all of which are true - No....they are NOT excuses - they are reasons to survive!

Peter says it this way: these trials are only to test your faith, to show that it is strong are pure. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold- and your faith is far more precious to God than mere gold. So if your faith remains strong after being tried by fiery trials it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day Jesus is revealed. (NLT) As runners we know that training in the heat is actually best case scenario even though it is the most difficult -- which is precisely why it's best to train in the heat. After the heat anything is better! Which makes it one more reason to survive.

My goal today is to change my perspective about my challenges - rather than letting them be reasons to quit or give up I will make them into reasons to survive!

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Committed to Myself

Running for me seems to be about setting goals. Some of them are kept and some are not. Today as I was running in the heat I was determined to reach my newly set goals. Over the last few years I have set and made lots of goals - and set and not made lots of goals. But a couple of weeks ago it hit me real hard when I weighed in and found that I was overweight. (not a happy camper) I determined right then and there to make a difference.

You see, I eat to fill a void in my life. But over the last few weeks I realized that eating more foods may fill my tummy but it will not erase the pain of the circumstance. It's up to me to change -  and I'm committed to the journey.

By now I have earned the right to call myself a runner even though I didn't start until the year I turned 49. I've completed over 60 races - 7 of which are half marathons and one marathon ( that I crawled). Some might say that this is amazing but I still talk myself out of that. It's not really that amazing  I tell myself - I am not fast, I am not slim, I am not consistent... and so on. But then I started thinking - you know what - why talk yourself out of the wonder?  In our pious way we think that congratulating ourselves is prideful and a sin. But aren't we supposed to be doing everything as if to the Lord? And didn't Paul warn us about not comparing ourselves among ourselves? Since I am a reflection of Christ in the earth shouldn't I be the best I can be at whatever I do?

This week I committed to give myself 1 hour a day to work out. That might be running, workouts with Jillian Michael's DVDs, kick boxing or elliptical - and it might be longer than an hour many days (it'll have to be some days if I keep my training intact.) But at least one hour a day I am giving to myself to become a better runner - a better person. And it's okay to commit to ourselves - it's not evil pride!

If we think about commitment and  our Christian walk - it is a necessary component. We will not make it with our walk with Christ if we do not commit to the journey. What journeys have you committed to in life? Have you committed your life's journey to Christ? We will achieve the things we are committed to. Today I committed to myself to help myself - rather than discourage myself. It's okay to be worth it -- to yourself --


Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Issuing Personal Challenges

I know - long time no see - but I'm back! There are lots of holes in the story and maybe I will fill them in over time. For now I'll just start with where I am. I issued myself a personal challenge 9 days ago. My goal was to run every single day and to see how long I could do that. It didn't matter to me if it was only a mile - I wanted to see how it would feel to run some everyday.Then my friends on dailymile.com issued a 100k challenge.

The 100K challenge is to run a 10K everyday for 10 days. I figured that would work well with my own challenge to run every day so I accepted it! Yesterday was day 8 of running every single day; and it was day 3 of the 10 day challenge. I've learned a lot already.

I found out I am made of tougher stuff than I thought! (lol) That translates into "so far so good"! It's been difficult as my body cries out to stop and rest - but I keep going. The good thing is I am seeing some benefit already. I've started to lose a little weight (I need to lose about 30 pounds!), I'm feeling better and I surprised myself. Yup! I had no idea I could push myself harder....and live!

When we push ourselves we find out that we are much more capable of doing much more than we ever could have realized. But we will never know if we settle for the status quo! Just getting by is our enemy. We will not know where our boundaries are unless we push them a little bit. It's been worth it to me so far to realize I am capable of so much more. Now mind you - understand - I am not saying it's been pretty but I am saying I can see a real difference already (when I am not too sore to think about it).

I think we settle for far too less in life too. We could do and be so much more but it is easy to settle into what is comfortable and fail to press on to bigger and better things. I think of some of the characters in the Bible who did not settle for less. Daniel comes to mind - he was a captive, or prisoner, in another country - but he had an excellent spirit. Joseph was in similar circumstances and never gave up. Today as I get my run in I will be thinking about reaching just a little bit further than what is comfortable. I want to do more - and be more; but it will not happen unless I get out of that comfort zone. Will you join me?

Friday, January 25, 2013

Make it Happen!

This is my new mantra - Make it Happen! I had a conversation with someone the other day who was talking about something they wanted to do. They could not even plan toward it as they began with all these negatives about why they couldn't do it and how it wasn't going to work out. I asked them if that's what they really wanted to do - they affirmed. I said then Make it happen!

Do you want to run a 5K?  10K? Half marathon? or a full? Then make it happen. Do what you need to do to get it done. I crawled a full marathon last year and have another planned for this year. I hope I do not crawl the last 6.2 again though! lol. No one can do your training for you. No one can kick you out of the bed in the morning or run your miles for you. If you want it - go get it!

This is just one of the life lessons I have learned from running (and life!). I can sit around and whine about how out of shape I am or how slow I run...or I can get off the couch and change it. But no one can change it for me. To balance it out, I also know that there really are some things in life that I cannot control, especially if it concerns someone else's actions. Those things are not worth worrying over - just let them go. When we fret over all the things that really cannot be changed, we will only burden ourselves.

I am in the beginnings of training for a second marathon. I also have a half in between! It is not always easy for me to rearrange my schedule to get in a run and it is even more difficult for me to get on the dreadmill and get a run in on days when the schedule didn't allow an outside run. But I have a choice - run or don't! If I want it - I have to go get it - I have to make it happen. I will not wake up in the morning in shape for a marathon if I have not trained! lol (wouldn't that be nice though?)

I really believe that every area of life can be handled this way. Do you want  to know God? Make it happen - seek Him.  Do you want to pray or study more? Make it happen - schedule a time and stick to it. Do you want to eat better? Make it happen....get the idea?

This is my mantra this year - and I intend to Make it Happen!