Running with Joy
It happened! I ran 13.1 miles with the rising sun last Saturday.
Before I give you the fun details of race day, rewind to Friday morning when I woke up with a sore throat and trouble breathing.
Attempting a deep breath, I let out a big wheeze. You see, I'm asthmatic and most every time I get sick, I end up on a breathing treatment or up all night fighting for breath.
I looked at Drew, devastated. "I'm sick for my run."
I felt my shoulders and my thrill shrink back as I went on through the day.
I have been training for 3 months and I get sick the day before my race? Lies flooded in. This would happen to me. I shouldn't have done this. I'm such a failure. I can't do anything right. I should have figured this would happen. My friends will think I'm so lame. This just isn't fair.
I felt slow and sick and laid in bed for the remainder of the afternoon. I sent out a quick text for prayer and mustered up the energy for a beach walk.
"Hasn't this been a fun journey?" The big ocean blue is so serene, so wild and powerful. We walked alongside it as the wind was mighty, as was the wisdom my husband shared. Magic was happening.
"Whatever happens tomorrow, it was all worth it." he said as our little man pointed to birds flying high.
I know, I know, but I want to win. (Can you tell competition is one of my strengths?! I think the olympics are getting to me.)
You're right. Damn it. I want to do my best, but I would do it all over again because the journey to get here was SO good. Hours and hours of time alone with God to pray and just be. Pushing myself physically more than I have in 5 years. Proving to myself that this 'ol mom bod still has it. I learned that I am capable and strong. I learned I don't have to prove that to anyone, I just have to believe it, because it's already true.
You're right. It's less about the finish line and more about the process of getting there.
I'm such a finish line person. I live for the big glory moment and can be tempted to take shortcuts to get there, because it all looks so shiny. Now, almost 30, I don't want the short way. I want the peace and the french press and the silence. The hard work and challenges. The breaking points and the pushing through. I crave the slow road, the thoughtful words, the intentional. That's where the growth is and that's where the life happens.
Even if the paramedics had to rescue me off the path (I do know a pretty hot one...soooo...), it was all worth it. It's not about the finish. It's not about the pretty package at the end. It's SO great when a bride looks like a million bucks on her wedding day, but what did it take to get there? stress, anger, jealousy, rage? I show up polished, but was just yelling at my kids on the way? I think there is another way. I think there is a more peaceful and present way. That the rushing and striving and pushing and pressure to look/act/be like this is NOT the priority. That the little moments matter more. The stop and take a deep breath and stand in one place moments. The insides of us are worth it to sit back and adjust, to sit alone in our thoughts and be honest with ourselves. Am I focusing on the finish line while forgetting the journey is ALL OF IT?!
I was. I wanted to win and it nearly robbed me of the joy of the journey. Thankfully my older (hehe) and wiser husband reminded me. Babe, whether you compete tomorrow or not, it was all still worth it. You had a fantastic journey.
True. Truth. Preach it, babe.
What makes the finish is the days, years, months, determination, prayers, life lessons, calluses, tears on the journey to get there. Gosh dang, that is SO cheesy, but it's so deliciously true. Running with joy, presence, awareness.
Back to the good stuff. I ran and my asthma did not bother me at all. AT ALL! I think sometimes God answers prayers in the way we want and I think this was one of those times.
I ran like a gazelle (lol, I didn't but that word) and had an absolute blast. I worshipped and prayed and sang and laughed...even sprinted towards the finish line, met by some of my greatest people. It was an absolute dream day. I will hang my medal in my room as a reminder that I finished well; but more importantly, I trained well and the journey was the most important.
Drew reminded me that my blog post would have been even better if I didn't finish and had to get rescued or something like that, but God bless it all.
Cheers to this brutiful journey, it's SO important.