A run with a friend was on my morning agenda. Let’s just be honest, I was dreading it because I haven’t run in months. According to the scales, I really needed the exercise, so I agreed to go. However, when I woke up this morning, it was pouring rain. The run wasn’t to be for a few hours, so I went ahead and put on my workout clothes just in case it cleared up because I didn’t want to be a weenie and go ahead and call it off. Well, the rain is still pouring. Hallelujah. So here I sit still in my leggings under my shorts and lightweight sweatshirt without a drop of sweat on me. The thing is, those extra pounds that this summer’s move have brought me aren’t so lightweight. The next few thoughts would relate a whole lot more to this little All Points Bulletin about my cancelled run if it was actually an APB about the run that I did have. I’ve run before, though, and I can sure remember how it felt.
The novelty of a fresh start in round two of living in the same place is starting to wear off. I’m homesick for Nashville. Don’t get me wrong, we have complete confirmation that this is where we are supposed to be and are loving the things that we are called to do here as well as the friendships we are making and living so close to family again. It’s just that I miss the cool place with the great relationships and endless entertainment options that we have called home for the past three and a half years.
Last night, David and I were chatting about this. He shared that he, too, was feeling homesick. In our conversation, he pointed out that the way he keeps going in situations like we are in is by comparing them to exercise. When you first get going, you feel great- as if you could run up the stairs like Rocky without breaking a sweat. You get a great stride when you first start out. Then, the further you go, you start to feel the resistance. You start thinking about the stuff you left behind and maybe even about just turning right around. We have made great strides, but oh wait, that stuff behind us is sounding mighty good now compared to the strain to keep pace. Resistance is pulling like a rubber band.
The thing about a rubber band when it is being pulled is that it can either be a lame backwards flop or a powerful shot across the room. It just depends on how hard you fight back against the pull. The more you battle against the pull of friction from the opposite direction, the stronger you get and the harder you can run toward your goal. With this in mind, the thought of quitting begins to dwindle. You begin to realize that this is how you get in shape. If you have run before, you know that it will be scary and that very piece of knowledge alone can psych you out before your race even begins if you let it. When you actually start, though, you go in with the spirit of optimism that you can really do this. As you go along, you begin to feel like a wounded warrior who wants to fight, but is tired and hurting all the same. If you push through, though, you’ll gain something that you would have greatly missed if you had given into the resistance and quit. You’ll gain the heart of a champion. It’s not possible to keep the heart of a champion, though, unless you really are a champion. So that means, you have to finish the race that is set before you if you really want to come out a victor.
Are you running a race right now that has you feeling tired and wondering if it’s worth going forward toward the finish line, though you are miles away? Be encouraged. With each stride you make, you are gaining strength to make it to your finish line. Fight the resistance. Don’t let it send you in a lame backwards flop. Use the force from the friction to shoot you toward your target. You are going to feel tired. You are going to feel week. You are going to want to give up. But don’t. Keep running. Keep exercising with the discipline required to reach your goal. Appreciate where you’ve come from, but when you are putting those feet to the trail laid before you, focus on what’s ahead of you instead of what is behind you. Let what is in the past be a memory. Whether it’s a good or bad memory, it’s a marker in the distance that has motivated you to run the race you are on. Don’t make this run about yourself. Make about the one who straightens your path. When you do that, the sweat you are losing will be exchanged for the strength you need for this breathtaking journey you are on. And when you reach the end, the breath that was taken away from you by the race will be replaced by the fresh breath of life.
Think I should go put these exercise clothes to their intended use now? Yeah. Me too.