Do the things you used to talk about doing but never did. Know when to let go and when to hold on tight. Stop rushing. Don’t be intimidated to say it like it is. Stop apologizing all the time. Learn to say no, so your yes has some oomph. Spend time with the friends who lift you up, and cut loose the ones who bring you down. Stop giving your power away. Be more concerned with being interested than being interesting. Be old enough to appreciate your freedom, and young enough to enjoy it. Finally know who you are.
There is something magical about running; after a certain distance, it transcends the body. Then a bit further, it transcends the mind. A bit further yet, and what you have before you, laid bare, is the soul.
I write about the power of trying, because I want to be okay with failing. I write about generosity because I battle selfishness. I write about joy because I know sorrow. I write about faith because I almost lost mine, and I know what it is to be broken and in need of redemption. I write about gratitude because I am thankful – for all of it.
When it comes down to it, determination has a greater impact than giftedness.
I want to get more comfortable being uncomfortable. I want to get more confident being uncertain. I don’t want to shrink back just because something isn’t easy. I want to push back, and make more room in the area between I can’t and I can.
I think I get used to, even addicted to, the feelings associated with the end of a long training run. I love feeling empty, clean, worn out, starving, and sweat-purged. I love the good ache of muscles that have done me proud. I love the way a cold beer tastes later that afternoon. I love the way my body feels light and sinewy.
When we focus on our gratitude, the tide of disappointment goes out and the tide of love rushes in.
It’s not only moving that creates new starting points. Sometimes all it takes is a subtle shift in perspective, an opening of the mind, an intentional pause and reset, or a new route to start to see new options and new possibilities.
As I get older I see that running has changed for me. What used to be about burning calories is now more about burning up what is false. Lies I used to tell myself about who I was and what I could do, friendships that cannot withstand hills or miles, the approval I no longer need to seek, and solidarity that cannot bear silence. I run to burn up what I don’t need and ignite what I do.
Running has taken me in, and continues to comfort, heal and challenge me in all kinds of magical ways. I am not a ‘good runner’ because I am me. I am a good ‘me’ because I am a runner.
I love the big fresh starts, the clean slates like birthdays and new years, but I also really like the idea that we can get up every morning and start over.
It’s easy to lose sight of God when life is sweet and easy, but there is something awesome about despair, and it is the closeness of God when we are at our weakest.
Without running, I would have missed the joy of rain. What could be considered an inconvenience or a bummer to the inexperienced is actually a gift. Without running, I would miss a lot of things-like seeing cities in a certain way, or knowing certain people all the way to the core. I’m glad we don’t experience life through glass, under cover, or from the sidelines. Good things take miles.
That’s what our training is for, we practice not panicking, we practice breathing, we practice looking directly at the thing that scares us until we stop flinching, we practice overriding our Can’t.
If we write our dreams and goals down, we dramatically increase our odds of realization. If we share them with others, they become potent and alive.
A run has never returned me exactly the same. I go, I grow.
We either live with intention or exist by default.
Thank God for running. It is the ultimate detox for me, whether my poison is bubbles, a foul mood, or a bad attitude. If I combat inertia, get out, and get moving, eventually every kind of toxin works its way out.
I never imagined that divorce would be part of my life history or my family’s legacy. When people say that divorce can be more painful than death, I understand why. But like any great trial, God uses everything for good, if we allow Him to heal us.
Embrace your sweat. It is your essence and your emancipation.
Every mile marker can be met with some measure of trepidation, in a race or in life. Am I on target? Do I have what it takes to finish strong? Am I taking care to stay nourished so I can endure? Is my training proving to be sufficient? Am I prepared for the hills? It is impossible to fathom the full distance, so we make our way to the next mile marker, and the next, checking in with ourselves as we go.
I find significance in all kinds of small details when I run; I’m hyper aware of my surroundings, the sensations in my body, and the thoughts running through my mind. Everything is clearer, heightened. I might be more addicted to this clarity than I am to running itself.
Running fills a need so we make fewer demands on others. Running reveals the roots of negative thinking, so the weeds can be pulled. Running reconnects the soul to the source, inspiring hope and creativity.
In the midst of regular life, running is the touchstone that breathes adventure into my soul.
We postpone the finality of heartbreak by clinging to hope. Though this might be acceptable during early or transitional stages of grief, ultimately it is no way to live. We need both hands free to embrace life and accept love, and that’s impossible if one hand has a death grip on the past.