Saturday, April 27, 2013

Run for your life.


When do we run?

What causes us to increase our gait from a leisurely stroll to a breathtaking pace?

When you are 8 and you have to go to the basement to get something. I remember slinking slowly down the stairs so the devil waiting for me would not immediately notice my presence. Then after retrieving whatever was required, I would bolt up the stairs, three and four steps at a time, because the monster was now keenly aware of my presence and was racing after me as fast as its ten legs could carry it.

Sitting on the plane dealing with the normal insanity of exiting the plane. You know the people that have decided just because we are safely on the ground means nothing. They must get their bags and get off it immediately to avoid the plane crashing into the luggage truck. I calmly wait for them to flee. I retrieve my items and walk the gangway to find my family and head home. I cross the threshold then the joy of seeing my boys, all three of them, overwhelms me and I can't get to them fast enough. I run to them and hold them as if they may disappear.

We get in the car and drive 20 hours, actually 20 minutes, to the lake. The boys asking are we there yet, are we there yet, ARE WE THERE YET??? We turn down the short gravel road and they yell STOP!! We stop the car, they jump out and run down the drive, into the house, out the back door, fishing gear in hand and to the dock they race.

Emotions carry us sometimes. They can cause our hearts to race and our feet to move as if they are directly connected to the pace of our hearts. What if there is no driving emotion? What makes people want to step out of the house and just run? Nothing chasing, nothing driving, no obvious reward?

I now know.

Roots and Wings 2011
I started running about 3 years ago. It started as a means to a smaller end, rear-end to be exact. I didn't really like it but it seemed to be the best and cheapest way to accomplish the goal of shedding the baby weight. So I ran. In the beginning a mile felt like 10 and appeared impossible. Then the first mile became the hurdle, the second mile I found my pace and three seemed like a stretch but what the heck.
In July 2011 I ran my first 5k race, 3.1 miles, and the .1 was the hardest part of the race. I crossed the finish line and my first thought was NOT I did it or That was awesome. Nothing even remotely that inspirational. My first thought was, 'Oh God, when I puke on the finish line it is going to be really embarrassing.' Then the realization, 'I did it... I Did it and I DID IT IN A RESPECTABLE AMOUNT OF TIME!! I still may vomit....'
Now two years later I have completed my first 10k running at roughly a 10 minute mile, not setting any records or winning any races, but WOW 6.2 miles. What makes you run when emotion isn't pushing you? Emotion that is pulling you. I know, it sounds weird but this time the emotion is almost the reward rather than the catalyst. It hurts, you have to push yourself constantly and NO ONE will say wow you only ran 4 miles... I am really disappointed that you didn't finish the race. The only person that will be disappointed is me. Just like I am the only one who knows how amazing it feels to fight through the desire to quit,  push myself through the pain and cross that finish line. I did it, I FREAKING DID IT!!

CRBR 2013
Running is a metaphor for life. It isn't easy and sometimes we want to quit, but to run through the pain, the thoughts of I can't do it, I don't want to do it or I have gone further than most and cross the finish line strong is an indescribable feeling that most people will never understand. Marriage, parenting and friendships are the races that we run in this life and the more you put in the more you get out of them. We can't sit on the couch for months and then run a marathon just like we can't stand on the sidelines of our relationships and hope they finish strong. We have to train, fight through the struggles, and get past our own thoughts of, 'I can't do it' or 'I don't want to do it' and we will cross the finish line of life and be able to say, "I DID IT! I didn't give up and WOW what an amazing run!"

What makes me run? The finish line.

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 pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.
Hebrews 12:1-3