Sunday, March 9, 2014

Running Life

Throw back... I started this blog 3 years ago when I prepped for my 2nd race.

Every time around the season of lint, I always seem to reflect on my running days. 3 years ago, I had been training to run the Oklahoma Memorial Marathon in Oklahoma City.  As the lint season came, and my race was 60 days away, I was getting weary. Runs were getting longer. I was tired of the training, but didn't want to give up. I remember listening to a sermon about how the lint season for so many is more like another New Year's resolution. When lint season comes around, people will give up candy, soda, social media, and so forth for a couple weeks to see if they can live without it. Some make it to Easter, while others mess it up and say "Oh well!"

However, my training mentality changed when the pastor challenged the congregation to not give something up for lint, but to add something. For example, instead of giving up candy, challenge yourself to pray for an extra 5 minutes each day. Maybe try fasting. Another one was to donate an a few hours of your time each week leading up to lint. Whatever it was we felt God calling us to add, the pastor challenged us to do so.

I went out on one of my long 11 mile runs after church that day and kept racking my mind. I questioned myself, what can I do for the lint season? Then it occurred to me as my legs began to get heavy, I should commit to not look at my fitness and spiritual commitments as something just to "get through". I challenged myself for lint and up until race day, that I would read a few chapters out of Psalms before going on my runs. I divided it up so that I would finish the book of Psalms before I ran my race on race day.

After changing my mindset, my runs and prep for my race became a lot easier!  My runs became less painful because I wasn't running just to hit mileage. I was running with purpose, to honor God.  The day of the race it rained, sleeted, snowed, hailed all within a couple hours. Definitely the weirdest race weather ever because of a crazy storms blowing through and the temperatures dropping and rising. I finished the race soaked and as I crossed the finish line, I can humbly say I hit my personal best. My miles were ran at an average of 7.39 min. I shaved 26 minutes off the last time I had ran a race.

I'm not very much of a high strung emotional person, however, that day after the delayed start to the race, the race conditions, and
running my butt off, I crossed the finished line and started crying as soon as I saw my mom on the other side of the fence. I didn't even want my medal. I was overwhelmed with emotion. I couldn't believe how far I had come, not physically, but mentally. I could have given up miles ago, but I didn't. And that's why I say so many times that our spiritual and physical health are similar. It's easy to give up when things get hard, when the going gets tough. But I've lived through numerous challenges and I can say... only strong minded people succeed. Whatever you desire for yourself , if your willing to work for it and give it your all, you'll achieve it without a doubt in my mind.  You get in what you get out. You can't live a life half way. Living life loudly and boldly is the only satisfying
way to live. Sure, pain happens, but character is built. Know that when you make it to the top at the mountain top, you can look down the mountain and say, I overcame that.

I share my life with you all so you may be encouraged and empowered. It's my prayer that you won't live a life that's luke warm. Live a life where your on fire, passionate about something. Be challenged and grow from those challenges.

Be Blessed

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