Oh, yeah, I did it this time.
I made a promise. A promise I've got to keep. Even if it kills me.
It all started 4 years ago, when Isaac saw an ad for the Fargo Marathon Youth Run. He was determined he was going to do it. He was only 8 at the time but it was only a half mile and so we figured, "what the heck."
He had a blast! The food, the crowd, the cool medal at the end of the race...he was hooked.
The next year we brought his whole Cub Scout den with us and they ran it together. To add to the excitement, big brother, Christopher, ran the half marathon and survived (barely...I guess its actually a good idea to train for these things. Who woulda thunk?!?)
So then two years ago, Isaac ran the 1 mile youth run and Chris ran the half marathon again (...and trained this time. He walked out of the Fargo Dome completely upright and in his own strength.)
At the end of the day Isaac announced that next year he and I were running the 5K. In a moment of weakness and complete inattention, I said "sure." It was a couple of months before I had my moment of clarity and I found myself gasping "What have I done?!?"
I know some of you are saying "Geesh, its only 5K!" I know, that only translates to 3.1 miles. I have several friends and a son that have run the half marathon, the relay and even the whole 26.2 miles...and lived to tell about it.
So why can't I run 3.1 miles? Let me tell you why...
I am not a runner. In fact, as of late, I am not even what you would call a "walker." In all honesty, I have gotten old. And lazy. And did I mention "old"?
But I made a promise, and Isaac, who is a stickler for the rules, has not let me forget it. I've even had an extra year to psych myself up for this: we had a wedding the same weekend as the race last year, so we could not participate - but this year
So this last week, I did a couple of very scary things...
First, I printed off our 10 week training schedule.
Second, I actually registered for the race.
As I write this there are several scripture verses that are going through my mind. Verses about "running the race", proverbs about "laziness" and "foolishness", and exhortations to "walk in spirit and not in flesh."
But the verse that really is encouraging me right now is James 1:4
"Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything."
It may not seem as directly related to running as some other verses might be but when I came across this verse a while back, I felt like it was calling out to me. I could almost see the flags waving and the town crier yelling "Yo, Dawn, pay attention. Word for you."
In my mind, the word "perseverance" was underlined and highlighted and I felt God speak to me "Hang in there. Don't give up. You can do this."
And by "this", he wasn't just referring to the upcoming race but to life in general. To busyness and kids and work and activities...and well, just everything. That if I want things to get better, if I want things to change in my life, I need to push through. I need to finish what I start and I must let God finish what he has started in my life. If I want to be stronger - healthier, physically and spiritually, I must give up some things, sacrifice some stuff, work harder, train longer (at least put in some effort...good grief!), so that I may see the pay off at the finish line.
This applies to so many areas of my life...ugh.
So where do I start? According to my training schedule, I start with a 5 minute jog. I can do that. And in May, I will run that 5K. And I'm going to persevere...and finish. And it's going to be worth it. In fact, I have a feeling it's going to feel great.
And who knows, maybe in 4 years (uh, maybe 5), I'll be running all 26.2 miles. (But no promises, ok? This time I'm paying attention.)
In what areas of your life do you need to persevere (ie: hang in there, don't give up)?
Start small - start somewhere - you can do it!