Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith. Hebrews 12:1-2
Who would have ever thought I would run a 10K? It's something I've always wanted to do but never had done. I'm not a runner for sport but I do enjoy jogging as I find it relieves stress. Back in February I decided to sign up for Golden Valley's "Run the Valley" race. With the support of my good friend Emily Stanzyk we trained. Emily is way more intense than I and actually is running in the Boston Marathon which is just 8 days away (Monday April 18). Emily and I trained together running inside and outside at Concordia. She would run full throttle while I enjoyed a more relaxed pace. Two months later and the day had arrived.
"Runners please make your way to the starting line" I heard the announcer say.
My heart pounding, was I really about to do this?
Then the sound of the air horn and we were off! The first part of the race, a hill. I hear Emily's encouragement as she ran alongside me.
"When we get to the top of the hill don't slow down push through and keep running"
How is she so optimistic?
"Pump your arms" she reminded me.
The first mile was easy as we passed the marker of 2 miles I was really starting to feel my muscles scream at me.
"Why did I sign up for this?" I said out loud
"It's fun, you'd regret it if you didn't and when it's all over you are going to feel so great!" Emily encouraged.
We continued to run and some people passed us. I was feeling discouraged and tired.
"You got this" Emily praised, "You see those trees up ahead run to those trees, run hard and when we get to them we will pull back a little"
We continued running and made it to the trees.
"You see that stop sign, keep running to the stop sign"
I now understood what Emily was doing, she was breaking down the race into smaller sections.
Sometimes life seems to be too much for one to handle. You need to break it down into smaller tasks so as not to feel overwhelmed. Day by day, hour by hour, one assignment at a time, one meeting at a time, one class at a time, one moment at a time. Hebrews 12 says "Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith." Sometimes life seems to be out of control, words let unsaid, dishes not done, sleep not had, but then you realized, does it really matter? In the grand scheme of things will it matter in 20 minutes if the dishes are still dirty? Salvation does not depend on dishes, grades, or a race. Christ is the true prize and if we fix our eyes on Him, he will run with us and be there to encourage and push through to what's ahead, the trees on the horizon, the stop sign, faith stepping stones to mark our accomplishments. It's not about the race its about the process.
*****Mile marker 6!
"Come on Kristi .2 mile left" Emily yelled
As we came close to the end I could see and hear all the people, people I never had met cheering us on, and then I crossed the finish line!
I was not last, which was my biggest fear, and in fact I did way better than I thought I would finishing in the top 2/3...okay so it's maybe not that good but for me I couldn't be more content.
I can't believe I did that and I have to say Emily was right, I did feel great. I swore during the race I'd never do it again, but looking back I'm crazy enough to go again.