The Gift of Running: What I am Learning and Striving Toward in My Own Running Journey
If you haven’t caught on by now, I really a romantic at heart. And by a romantic I mean I like to talk a lot and dream up big dreams and chase after goals and smell the roses and ignore details (usually that comes back to bite me.) And as a romantic, I’ve realized that there are so many beautiful lessons I’ve learned through the sport and gift of running. Truly running isn’t for everyone and I’m fine with that. But, for those of us who not only enjoy running, but love the sport,; I know you would agree with me – there is just something about running that changes you.
Most of you all know my story, I started running after hating it for many years and after a 5k win, I fell in love with not only running, but racing and the whole running community. Fast forward through an eating disorder, exercise addiction, and then some injuries; I ran a half marathon, got married, had a baby, and postpartum ran more than I’d ever run before in my life (this past summer I ran a 5k, a half marathon and full marathon and have a planned half marathon in two weeks.) It’s through these years of running and the ups and downs and in the plateaus and the weight loss and weight gain and frustrations, and triumphs, that God has taught me so much about Himself, myself, and life through this gift called running.
I really love Eric Liddel’s response to his sister, when asked about running, “I believe God made me for a purpose, but he also made me fast!
And when I run I feel his pleasure.”
This probably has been one of the biggest lessons I’ve learned in my running journey, that ultimately I am (and should) be doing it to glorify Jesus. He, after all, is the one who gave me the legs and heart and desire to run, so why shouldn’t I try to be the best runner, I can be? This is something I’ve thought a lot about lately, as I step into a new season (post marathon) in my running career. I’ve had so many seasons in my running life where I’ve kind of just settled. I ate okay, I ran enough, I worked out a little and just existed. And while I am all about balance and not getting addicted to exercise, I also want to know, at the end of the day, I did my best.
As I mentioned, this is something I’ve been thinking a lot about lately and not only in my running career, but in my business, in my blog, my family and friends, I truly want to live a life that glorifies Jesus and live big. I don’t want to settle and just exist, I want to be different and bold and courageous and fearless. I want to go for goals and fall flat on my face. I want to dream and achieve and I want to leave an impact on others. And I think along with that desire to live big in life, comes this innate desire to give my absolute best in my running and my nutrition and my lifestyle. Running a marathon and finishing strong, left me feeling like, ‘What else could I do if I just dreamed and tried?’ So, as I dream with my running, I am excited to see what happens.
Running has also taught me that our bodies are so fearfully and wonderfully made. It isn’t about how big my thighs are or how small my waist is; instead I love seeing what my body can do. And yes, while I continually guard myself against that old ED mindset, I truly love the way running has taught me to appreciate strength vs. skinniness.
Running has taught me discipline and sacrifice and that consistency (in everything) matters. I’ve learned that fueling, the proper way, makes a huge difference, and that winning a PR in every race isn’t the most important thing. I’ve learned that running is not only a solo sport, but also a huge community. I have learned that dreams are achieved when I simply put the work in and overcome excuses. And, I’ve learned that stretching is important and persistence is key and triumph comes through miles and miles of behind the scenes work.
I think that’s one of the many things I truly love about this crazy thing called running. It really is a life sport. Not only can you do it for life, but it bleeds over it every area of my life (and I’m not just talking about the many pairs of running shoes in my closet). Running has taught me so much and I am so thankful to continue to be a student of my sport, to learn and to grow and to try and to dream and to fail and to try, try again. But, even more importantly, I am so excited to continually grow to become more like Jesus, to love my family and my friends and those around me, and as I do, I know I will become the best runner I can be, for His glory.
Questions of the Day
- Do you have a passion for a certain sport?
- What is your favorite thing about running?
- Happy Tuesday! What are you guys doing today?