Wednesday, October 19, 2011

I Can Do HARD Things: A 5K

Last August, I was running along the path out here, and all of the sudden, I had this idea to train with my Young Women for a 5k.  Now, a few of these girls are already serious runners, involved in Cross Country, but I thought that they could be the motivators for this whole thing. 

For our mutual activity to kick off the whole thing, we played Minute to Win It games, to prove that we can do hard things.  (Well, maybe not get an Oreo from our forehead to our mouth using only our facial muscles…but you get the idea…)  At the end of our activity, we handed the girls a Gatorade, a power bar, and a Couch to  5K training schedule, and sent them on their way.

Most of the girls followed the schedule to perfection.  Some of the girls just counted their workout if they got out and walked for a period of time.  A few weeks ago, we had the girls come out here and run/walk the 2 mile trail to get a feel for where they were, training wise.  They did awesome!  I was so impressed with every one of the girls that came and participated.

Last night, was the big night.  We invited their families to come and either cheer on the girls, or to join them in their quest to conquer the 5k.  Afterwards, we had a light dinner to wrap the whole thing up. 

I just wanted to share a little bit about what I learned from this experience:  First of all, I could go on forever with all kinds of running analogies, and how it pertains to life, but I won’t.  I’ll just mention a couple that I thought about last night as I was trying to drown out the sound of my heavy breathing. 

At one point during the run, I was getting so mad at myself for being lazy and not getting out EVERY DAY to run or walk.  Had I kept my routine of running early in the mornings like last year, this 3.1 miles would have been so easy for me.  But, I chose to hit the snooze button one time, and after that, it was easy to choose sleeping in over getting up and running.   In life, it is generally easier to live by the worlds standards, rather than the Lord’s standards, especially when you allow yourself to slack off just once (i.e. miss church, not praying before bed because you’re too tired, etc.) But the best part about this is, we can choose to start NOW to be better, to be more disciplined, and more focused on what is important, not what is easiest.

With about 1/3 mile left of the run, the father of the YW that I was desperately trying to keep up with running with, told her to sprint.  She started sprinting, but her dad could see she was tired, so he told her, “It’s going to hurt, but you can do it.  You can finish strong.”  This delicate little 13 year old girl took off knowing her dad was right behind her cheering for her, and encouraging her.   I loved that.  This life is hard, and the older I get and the more responsibility I obtain, it just gets harder.  Sometimes I do just want to stop and stay in bed and not face the challenges.  Sometimes, I’m given trials that hurt more than I can express, but the important thing is this, I can do it.  I can finish strong, because I know I have a Heavenly Father who knows me.  He knows my limits, and He sent me to a wonderful, supportive family, and He has blessed me with a husband and three children that have helped me through the most difficult times of my life.  I know that with Him, I can do Hard things.

I can’t say that I finished in record time,  or that I even sprinted at the end.  But I came away from that three miles so uplifted, and so motivated to be better—not at running, but at life. 

I hope that the Young Women who finished the course felt accomplished, and I hope they felt strengthened and encouraged, knowing that they too can do hard things.



Noelle and Corey said...

*like* :)

This makes me want to do a 5k with Corey...for my sake, of course....:)

Cher said...

Thank you for putting it together and sticking with it through all the fickleness of it because I don't know about the girls, but I felt so awesome that I actually ran the whole thing.

Samantha said...

You are so awesome. Those girls are lucky to have you! What a neat thing to do. And I love your deep thoughts. :) Very inspiring and so true.

Northern Nickle Clan said...

Thanks for that post! I love reading your posts. Every single one is so great! And it seems to be the ones I need to hear when I read them! Take care, and congrats on your running! I'm wanting to do that too!