Several days a week, my view during my morning run looks like this. You would think that would be enough to get me excited about actually running…but, um.
I confess that running is maybe not my most favorite thing in the world on a lot of the days. A LOT.
There are times when I do really, really like it.
And then there are a lot of times I don’t, but I do it anyway. I drag myself out of bed, force the socks and shoes on my feet, and push my own bum out the door just so I can M.O.V.E.
I don’t look like a runner…I’m just telling y’all that now. My running clothes aren’t bright, fun colors and expensive brands. Nope. I run in Target shorts and tank tops and my running shoes are the Nikes that were on sale, big time, at Kohl’s last fall. (And a lot of times? I just sleep in my running clothes…minus the shoes… 😉 so I don’t have to change in the morning.)
I don’t have a perfect stride or even-close-to perfect breathing when I run my miles. Also, I’m pretty sure my arms flop around like Phoebe’s do in that episode of Friends.
There are a few days when I basically make it my goal to survive…And, to keep running.
And so I get out there and I do just that. Some days are better and faster, and some mornings I’ve gotten a whole lot more sleep than others, but I go. I do it.
And all of those things? Well, they make me a runner…at least, in my mind.
You see, when I plan to go running, I set my goal before the first steps. And, barring a major injury, I have a rule that I don’t shortchange myself. If I’m going out for six miles, I’m going to do six miles.
Three miles of sprints? No cheating. Just do them. (Ugh. And I realllllly don’t like sprints.)
Last weekend, I wanted to quit halfway through my four mile run. (The problem with that was that it was at the turnaround, so quitting…yeah…) I’d run about a 19:50 split on the two-plus-a-bit-more, and I was happy with that. I’d just turned around and passed the little section of the path that almost meets the road, and cars (with onlookers) zoom by.
It was then that two guys on bicycles passed me going the other way. All I heard them say? She’s a runner? That’s the funniest thing I’ve ever seen!
Ok, ok so I know. I KNOW. They could have been talking about anyone.
But it was a bit of a tough pill to swallow for the girl who already doesn’t feel like a runner or really look like one, either…and I felt the defeat creep in as I forced my feet to keep moving. Boy, was the finish line…in the form of my front sidewalk…a welcome sight.
But then I thought about that comment…and whether it was actually meant for me or not wasn’t the issue. You see, there are always going to people who choose to use their words for discouragement.
There are also going to be people who look at a person at judge them just by what they see. They don’t know the story, and they don’t know the hundreds upon hundreds of miles you’ve run or thousands of steps you’ve taken or millions of words you’ve written.
I have a choice…WE have a choice. We can let them squash us or we can just keep running. Or writing. Or doing. Or being.
I’m thankful that last week, I chose to keep running. Was it my fastest time? No.
Was I dying just a wee-bit when I finished? Maybe, yeah. 😉
But their words didn’t stop me, and they shouldn’t stop you today, either.
It’s been a weird season for me, to be honest. I’m not exactly sure what God is doing with my words or with my family or, even, with my life. But I’ve got to believe and trust that He’s got a plan.
And so, some days I pull myself out of bed and go for that run, the one that is replacing another glorious hour of sleep that I could have. 😉
Other days, I sit down and write words…words that might end up published or words that might just stay hidden in the pages of a journal.
And yet, others…well, I don’t know on those days. And so I open His Word and pray…pray that He’ll give what I need for the day. He always does.
And, somehow, my feet find a way to move forward…to keep running.
I don’t know where you are today, my friend…but keep running. Whether you are pounding words or pounding pavement, He’s got this.
And I’ll cheer for you, too.