Friday, May 1, 2009
Lessons from running part 2
I ran the OKC marathon last week and the conditions were challenging to put it mildly. The wind was blowing at 30+ MPH with high humidity and warm temperatures. As recently as two weeks ago, I was anticipating a finish time that would beat my previous marathon by at least ten minutes. Gosh was I wrong and I ended up finishing 45 minutes behind my goal. I knew I had very little chance of meeting my goal within just a few miles of the run since the feedback from my pace and body was telling me I was going to fail.
By mile 13 when the run turned south into the wind, my mental capacity to keep running was nearing an end. By mile 15, my calves were cramping and every step was a struggle. My goal at this point was to at least be running each time I passed the spectator areas for the benefit of my friends that were watching and for my family. It was suddenly very important to me that my wife and son did not see me walking (failing). I really knew I was going slow when while running next to a cemetery around mile 20 I heard a women say, “On your left” so she could pass me. The pass was inspiring and demoralizing at the same time since she happened to be in a wheelchair.
I was just ready to be done by the time I ran over the finish line five + hours from the start.
Monday morning I was still reeling from the experience and knew at work I would get lots of questions about how the run had gone for me. I arrived at the same time as an employee who is handicapped. Just moving from his car to the front door and then to his wheel chair is a struggle.
As I held the door open for him, I thought how pitiful of a person I am to even for a moment not appreciate the wonderful gift of health I have been given that would allow me to finish a marathon. Who cares about the time? I did finish!
The Lord gave me an important lesson in this moment to appreciate the life of health and happiness he has given me. Yes there will be pain in the steps of my future but I will do my best to move forward with a smile on my face.
What a about you? Do you struggle to sometimes see the positive blessings in your life? How do you get challenges in perspective?