Friday, August 17, 2012

Take Down the Fences

If you had told me 15 years ago that I would be a runner I would have had a good laugh and told you that you were crazy.  Yet, here I am one of those crazy runners.  For heavens sake I named both of my boys after running. 

But the road to becoming a runner has not been a short straight path.  Rather, the journey has been long and rather curvy.

I have always been so jealous of "those runners."  I would see them running gracefully down the road and I inwardly wondered what they had that I lacked.  I wished I could be a runner, but I knew that I was not. I literally could not run around the block.

My husband has always been a runner, and a contagious runner at that.  After he did his first marathon he decided that he wanted his family to run a 5K together on our Christmas vacation.  I was very reluctant to agree to this crazy scheme.  So, my husband resorted to bribery.  Embarrassingly, I was bought at the price of a new running outfit for participation in this race.

As I previously mentioned I could not run, so this was a gigantic endeavor for me to embark on.  But, with the prize in mind I began training.  Training is hard work both physically and mentally.  As I pounded the pavement I began to face some of my own demons. 

I slowly started to confront the voices in my head that had told me who I was and who I was not.  What I could do and what I could not.  You see, this idea that I was not a runner, that I did not have what it took to be a runner was not confined to just running. 

I had believed the voices that whispered and screamed that I was not enough.  I looked at those around me and concluded that they had something that I did not.  I lived in the tiny chain linked square of what I thought I could do and be.

God used running to start taking down the rusty, ugly fences that had kept me from being who He had made me to be and stopped me from joyfully living life to the fullest. 

I finished that January 5K in Tuscon Arizona.  After that Eric bribed me yet again.  This time it was a training log.  For each mile that I ran I could take a trip equaling that distance. 

About that same time I accidentally ran over three miles.  Up until that point running three miles was my ultimate running goal.  One day I unknowingly ran a little further, and I did not die.  I was so surprised! It was a momentous physical and mental breakthrough.   I started to run a little farther, and a little farther.
Soon, Eric began to regret giving me the training log.  I found myself training for a half marathon, a 25 K and ultimately the Chicago Marathon.

As I stepped across the finish line of the Chicago Marathon tears streamed down my face.  For all these years I had told myself that I was not and could never be a runner.  And here I was crossing the finish line, having a medal draped around my neck a beautiful symbol of the 26.2 monster that I had just defeated.

As time stood still and I was enveloped in that moment I heard a voice in my mind saying, "You thought you could never be a runner.  What other things in life have you told yourself that you could never do or be?" 

This question began to take root in my heart and is still continuing to blossom.  Running has shown me that I can indeed be and do so much more than I ever dreamed possible.  Running a marathon wasn't easy.  In fact, as I will share in later posts it was and is a difficult, painful, beautiful choice and process.  But, like so many other things in life the sacrifices are worth the investment.

Are there things that you have believed you could never be or do.  Decide to confront the untruths.  God beckons us to replace those lies with His truth. God has created you to be and  to do incredible things and he promises that through him you can do all things.  Be they small or incredibly large, put one foot in front of the other and go for it!

1 comment:

  1. Beautifully written, Anne. Congratulations on confronting the untruths in your life!