Fighting my way to the finish line, even when it’s hard.

“People really do this for fun?”, I think to myself as I contentrate on air intake.

Breathe, 2, 3, 4

Exhale, 2, 3, 4

It’s day three of couch to 5k.  The worst day yet.  My body and my lungs are not aligning. I think it’s the piece of gum I decided to chew.  I long to sprint like a gazelle, but today, I’m resembling Jumbo the elephant.

Thump, Thump, Thump.

Is it time to walk yet?

And while we’re here, let’s talk about sports bra’s.  Are these things manufactured on the darkside by minions of the devil?

I remind myself that this is not forever, just today.  I remind myself that I have 35 years of poor habits to correct. Achieving this goal will be a process.  I envision crossing the finish line at the 5k I have signed up for in July.  I envision leading my youngest daughter’s girls on the run group next year.  I envision the size 10 waist  I will have when I reach my final weight loss goal. I envision participating alongside of my husband in the physically challenging courses he likes to run.

I envision ditching the steroid prescription I have been given to manage my asthma.

But i’m aggravated. How did I let myself get to this point?

I’m embarrassed about how hard this is to figure out when experienced runners make it look so easy. If I can barely make it through a minute, how on earth am I going to make it through 30 minutes in just a few short weeks?  Plus, I am sore in places that I don’t even want to talk about.  When will I see progress?

It’s the hard that makes me want to quit.

It’s the impossible that encourages me to stop before I start.

It’s discomfort that leads me to hide in my comfort zone.

 I must decide now that I can run after the things I want from life, or I can let them get away. Only I can decide.

A plan must be formed the moment I decide to chase a goal. My plan is my course of action to reach the goal.  My plan is my road map.  It keeps me on track. My plan reflects benchmarks as well as progress toward the finish line.

I must then set my eyes on the goal as opposed to the things I am leaving behind. When I start a new goal, I write down the reason why.  My reason why is the driving force to get me moving when I would rather sleep a little longer or park my happy hiney on the couch (sans sports bra) with a good read. My reason why redirects my attention from what I am missing to what I will be gaining.

Then I will be ready to push myself past my current limits.  In this case, I enlisted my husband as a running partner. Part for expertiece and part for accountability.  He molds my perceived weakness into perspective.  He runs along side me with patience.  He coaches when necessary.  The gum was his idea.  Hmm???

It has taken me a long time to realize that a life worth living is not driven by comfort.  It is driven by the pursuit of growth.  Every single step I take in pursuit of my goal adds a building block of character that honors the purpose God has created me for.

I firmly believe that you fight for the things that mean most to you.  My health is worth fighting for.  Time spent with my husband and kids is worth fighting for.  My dreams are worth fighting for.  I have decided running is worth my effort even when it’s a fight to reach the finish line.

 

 

 

Markin’ Time

Therefore my spirit is overwhelmed within me; My heart within me is distressed. I remember the days of old; I meditate on all Your works; I muse on the work of Your hands. I spread out my hands to You; My soul [longs] for You like a thirsty land. Selah “  Psalm 143: 4-6 (NKJV)

I was talking to a man who is near and dear to my heart the other day.  A career Veteran who has made to secret about how badly “civilian” life sucks.  We were talking about Christianity and the things that motivate us.  And then came the tone.  The same one David uses when he is getting ready to drive home a point. (I think they teach it in basic training).  He said, “Here’s what I have to say to that.  The thing that motivates me is helping soldiers succeed.  Now that I’m retired, I’m just here, Markin time.”  Whoa.  It took me back for a second and that is certainly not where the conversation ended, but his phrase, “Markin Time”, has hit me this week.

I am a checklist lady.  I have my list of things to accomplish filled out and checked twice every morning. Okay, more than twice, but it sounded good.  I follow my list to the “T” and become very discouraged if I don’t get something on it accomplished.  I don’t handle curve balls well.  I like for my life to have momentum.  Particularly if that momentum is carrying me to the weekend.

My feeling is that God has placed this phrase on my heart because, even though I don’t acknowledge it, “markin time” is exactly how I have chosen into living my life.  “If I can just get these things done, I can___.”  “I’m ready for today to be over.”  Etc, etc.  And the question that hit me this morning is,”For What?”  What is so important after today?  The only answer I have is that I will have another day, week or month just like today-only tomorrow. Right? What am I really working for?

God doesn’t create his people to live a life of obscurity. We are not here to “Mark Time”.  Daniel 11 says that the people who know God shall be strong and carry out great exploits!  Great exploits!  That’s what I’m talking about.  I’m headed back to the throne room today to rediscover the dreams God has laid upon my heart.  The dreams I surrendered a long time ago.  The ones I knew I would never accomplish on my own strength.  I’m making the choice to live my life differently.  To make my life count in some way each and every day. I firmly believe that I can have everyday adventures in the life God has given me.  But, will I give up my own agenda in order to make it happen?

Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured on the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.”  Hebrews 12:1-2