“Veronica and I trying this new fad called uh, jogging. I believe it’s jogging or yogging. it might be a soft j. I’m not sure but apparently you just run for an extended period of time. It’s supposed to be wild.” -Ron Burgundy
A little over a month ago I decided to partially withdraw myself from the social media scene and people for a multitude of reasons. I needed to take time to discover myself, find things that I found enjoyable, rearrange priorities, and break away from certain aspects of my life. That first week I woke up, got in my car, drove to BGIndy and forked over a large sum of cash for a bike and accessories (excluding the helmet, just couldn’t cover up my money-maker).
Within the first two weeks I was biking fifty plus miles at a time, and feeling ambitious. I quickly discovered that I could fuse my music and inward frustration and take it out on my bike. With renewed vigor I set my eyes on the Hilly Hundred. While at this time I have not yet participated in it, I will let you guys and gals know how it turns out. My costume will at some point make an appearance as well. I realize that this will be quite difficult, and I feel that there are realistic expectations during this event (probably walking my bike up most of the hills).
However, the Hilly Hundred did not seem to be enough of a challenge, as I’ve had about five weeks to think things over. I then looked into Olympic Triathlon events, the biking and running are rather easy, but the swimming, well let’s just say that I’m about as good as swimmer as Jack in “The Titanic”. Sink like a dead weight. My first swim at 5am with all my old friends at the YMCA proved to result in a 0.2mile swim. I was exhausted. So exhausted that I didn’t have the energy to feel uncomfortable when I showered off with all these old, very old, very very old white men.
Anyways, now that you have developed an adequate mental photograph of my graphic description… I quickly contacted a friend and pleaded my case that I would need to brush up on my swimming techniques if I wanted to succeed in this new endeavor. That following Sunday, the church that I attend went into a “Strong” Challenge, focusing on life qualities and how to incorporate those into spiritual gifts. The preacher referenced the Apostle Paul’s words in Hebrews 12 “let us strip of every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race that God has set before us”. It hit me. Who the heck cares about my time? I don’t. I just want to brag about the fact that I finished the race. Whether it is the Hilly Hundred or an Olympic Triathlon.
Just last week I finally incorporated my clipless pedals into my ride throughout Indianapolis, Carmel, and Noblesville. I apologize to the drivers from 17th street all the way to 172nd street. I was an absolute mess. People kept providing encouragement, telling me it would be a piece of cake, that clipless pedals are safer, more efficient etc. They failed to tell me how much they would suck in the beginning. Literally broke out in a cold sweat every time a stop sign/light came up and would start jerking my feet out of my locks like I had Parkinson’s or having a seizure. Needless to say, I fell down. Several times. I would jump up, look around to make sure no one saw, that and to see if I was about to get run over.
The thing was… I jumped right back up. Scrapes. Bruises. Blood. Damaged pride. Fear. They were all involved. But I jumped right back up and got back on my bike. Was it because I couldn’t walk my bike home wearing those ridiculous cleats? Or was it because I was determined to conquer these upcoming endeavors? I’ll let you decide, but it was probably cause I didn’t want to look like an idiot clomping around on the side of the road like an high school girl who’s never worn high heels before. But the key is that I jumped right back up, isn’t that the way I’m supposed to act in my walk with Christ?
In reality. I don’t. It’s funny. How I decided to start training right before I participated in the “Strong” Challenge. Coincidence? Maybe. See, in my spiritual walk, it’s not a race, but I do have a goal to shoot for. Heaven. I fall down. A lot. If you know me, you know my mistakes, because I don’t hide them. They are out there for all to see. But both the ones you see and the ones you don’t… I get hung up on them. They bring discouragement. I feel inadequate. Sorrowful. Remorseful. And Shame.
Lately it seems that I’ve only been focusing on the negative aspects of life. The discouragement of things not working out as I would have liked. Failed friendships. My own inadequacies. Daily struggles. Battles with health, and then, death. Admittedly, there was a time where I wanted to throw in the towel. But I had to ask myself, “what does this accomplish”?
2 Timothy 4, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race…”. Finished the race. When I complete these two upcoming physical races, cross the finish line, people won’t ask what my time was (and if you do, you can bet that I’m going to lie about it), nor will they ask how many times I fell. Because. That’s. Not. The. Point. I finished. I endured. I persevered. Through all the struggles, the muscle cramps, the soreness, bumps and bruises.
Look at the goal. The reward. And finish the race.