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    LDRICHEL   47,849
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Why Am I Doing This?

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Thursday, September 06, 2012

You know how I started running? Couch to 5k. When I started, I could barely run for a whole minute. It was SO hard. Over time, and with a commitment to get out of bed at 5:30am AT LEAST 3 times a week (usually 4-5 times), I saw my body change and felt things get easier. After 3 months of this CONSISTENT work, I could run for half an hour - no problem!!! Even though it was at a snail's pace and I still weighed (and still do) 225 lbs.

But sitting out for 7 weeks changed that. It's no secret that I kept my fitness up for the entire period when I was in the boot. But, just because I am generally fit does not mean I magically kept my ability to run straight through for half an hour without stopping.

Rather, I feel as if I'm starting over...not from the beginning, necessarily. Because I can run longer than a minute...but maybe from where I was, say, 1-2 months in. The most I can do right now is 5 minutes.

I have a 5k race on Saturday, which I signed up for LONG before my injury. I have had ONE run of any substance since I returned to running. I used to think of a 5k as a mere blip. "Simple! Not even something I need to worry about! Just a fun little hour of my life!" Well...that was arrogance. Plain and simple. And I honestly believe that part of my injury was God ever so gently calling me out on this spirit of arrogance. A 5k is not an easy, Sunday jog. It's a pretty good distance! There's nothing EASY about it!

Forgive me if I'm wandering a bit, but this journey of health and fitness can't just be about how strong *I* am and how much work *I* put into my sport or how accomplished *I've* become or how many races *I* have completed. If that is all that it's about, it's just sad....and empty. It needs to be about more than that.

I've been wrestling with this idea for some time now. WHY AM I DOING THIS? To prove something to someone? To myself? To show off? To get skinny? To find an identity? To impress my friends? To switch one addiction for another? I don't want to work so hard at something in my life for such vain pursuits.

If I'm going to give my time, my energy, my MONEY, and my family's time to this training and this dream of running, triathlon, Ironman...I better have some reasons that align with my core beliefs and values. Or it's all for naught.

So, thinking on these things...the following are my reasons for pursuing this life of health/fitness/competition:

1. My own fitness journey has always signaled to me that God is able to make NEW life out of anything that we believe is dead and gone. Every day that I am able to get up and run or swim or bike or hike or ANYTHING is, and should always be recognized as, a gift to me.

I lived through an injury so severe, any sane person would live in fear for the rest of their life and never again attempt anything active, in an effort to guard against re-injury.

With the help of a great Bible Study leader and some pretty supportive family members, I dared to believe that I was strong enough to jog 20 feet on the trail one day. And when I jogged for that 10 seconds, my daughter rejoiced. That was the moment I believed that I COULD. And I just kept going. And every time I feel that runner's high, I thank God for bringing me BACK TO LIFE.

2. I want to set an example for my immediate family, for my friends and for others. It's not a "look at me and how great I am" kind of thing. Rather, it's a "look how terribly far gone I was and how cruel I was to myself and my body. And look at where I am today. Miracles are possible. Health IS possible."

I know we hear it all the time, but it's because it's true: If I can do it, you CAN do it. And aren't we all here to share the load together? Don't we need a little inspiration to get that first swift kick in the butt right in the beginning? Yes. I did. And so do all of us.



3. I didn't have this goal in the beginning, but as this thing has taken off and grown, it's become more than I ever could have imagined. So, my third goal is to touch people's lives. Because people MATTER.

Not just with blogs going out to the masses. I want to INTENTIONALLY look for SPECIFIC ways I can touch specific people's lives - to come alongside them and give them a word of encouragement or hope or support.

When I began to "wake up" to this new life of health, I began to see so much beauty in myself that I had never acknowledged before. The best part is, I can see that in everyone else now too! If it weren't so creepy, I'd just love to tell everyone I meet that they are so ridiculously beautiful. And that has nothing at all to do with figure or physique. It has everything to do with their VALUE as a human being. We are all WORTH fighting for.

4. Finally, I want healthy fruit. I'm not talking about pears or grapes, although I do want those. I'm talking about this:

"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control." - Galatians 5:22-23

I happen to be a person of faith. And I believe that, to truly live what I say I believe, I need help from a power higher than myself. For me, this is the Holy Spirit. And His fruit is listed above.

It stuns me to read these verses in light of what running and endurance sports have produced in my life thus far.

Love - Well, I love myself. Is that worth noting?

Joy - Oh yeah!

Peace - Can't beat that feeling of peace after a good run.

Patience - Well, I have a lot more patience with my kids after a run and, in part, I have to have patience with my own body and not push it past its limits.

Kindness - Seeing my own weaknesses helps me to be more understanding towards the weaknesses of others. And a good training program WILL show you alllll your weaknesses.

Goodness - Welllll....jury's still out on that one! ;)

Faithfulness - Try to run a 26.2 mile marathon without it, friend.

Gentleness - Ask my husband if I've been more gentle since I began this lifestyle.

Self-Control - Are you kidding me??? We've hit the mother load here! 5:30am sucks...I'm just saying. And don't you KNOW how much I LOOOOVE Taco Bell?

There is so much potential in competition and sports to become so self-focused. And I just don't want to be *that* girl. I don't want my healthy diet or my fitness pursuits to define me and give me my identity. I want to have a solid identity FIRST and then have everything else in my entire life flow out of that.

So, I'm going to switch out my Vision Collage with the list above. I feel like it's a lot healthier motivation for me going forward. Training will only get harder and longer and more difficult. Time will be less available for other things and I don't want to miss out on the good that can come from all my hard work and slowly evolve into a person who is simply spinning her wheels, only to wake up one day and say, "Wait...I feel empty. Why am I doing this?"
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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BEAUTIFUL_REINA 9/16/2012 9:11PM

    =)

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SUNGIRL822 9/14/2012 11:10AM

  Reading your stories makes me feel like I can do it too!! thanks for sharing.

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MIDROAD 9/14/2012 9:38AM

    So very beautiful! I think I will read this everyday for inspiration!

Way more than mere words.

Soul sustaining and life affirming!

Thank you so very much!

Jeannie

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JSGETFITNOW 9/12/2012 10:37PM

    great blog; love the verse

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LVBABY7 9/12/2012 8:15PM

    emoticon

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RUNNER4LIFE08 9/12/2012 4:05PM

    Sounds like great reasons to run!

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Hope your 5k went well!

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POOTERMANPATTY 9/12/2012 2:18PM

    Thank you! I needed to hear this! emoticon

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SHERRY28269 9/12/2012 10:22AM

    Great reminder of why we take on bigger goals....not just for vanity!

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EWL978 9/10/2012 9:44PM

    Bravo!!! emoticon

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CHIGGERCANE 9/10/2012 4:35PM

    Lovely post - thank you for reaffirming so many things. emoticon

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DOTTY7267 9/10/2012 1:50PM

    emoticon

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ANNTORR53 9/10/2012 5:14AM

    Thank you for the beautiful way you expressed yourself in your blog. It is 2:15 in the morning here in Oregon where I live. I was touched bu your words and realize that no one can do this be me, with God's help. My daughter had a baby girl last night and I haven't slept for over 26 hours. Too wired! Seeing my ex with his wife, who he left me for is a big trigger for me. Had speghetti for dinner. Comfort. Anyway I am rambling. Keep it up and I would love to have you as a friend.

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SPSPSP1 9/10/2012 3:52AM

    Beautiful! Good for you!

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WELSTEACH 9/10/2012 2:06AM

    Purpose is ALL.

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BARBARAWEBSTER 9/10/2012 12:30AM

    A great Jog for me. Thanks

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HANSBRINK 9/9/2012 11:02PM

  Thank you for your post. I like the sentence " I want to have a solid identity FIRST and then have everything else in my entire life flow out of that. " It took me a long while to learn the meaning of that statement. You've articulated it beautifully.

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CHRISKENANDKIDS 9/9/2012 10:52PM

    You're doing so well my friend! With everything you've been through you should be proud of yourself and you are. But you are also humble and inspiring and a great role model. Keep up the great work!

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DRB13_1 9/9/2012 10:36PM

    So glad you were featured as a popular blog.
My Sunday school class is finishing one study and deciding what our next topic will be. Your fruit of the Spirit made me smile!
emoticon on all you ARE accomplishing and best wishes as you both recover and go on to even greater victories!
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MYBABYGIRLS 9/9/2012 9:53PM

    Love it! emoticon

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REENIE131 9/9/2012 9:40PM

    Awesome post! Thank you!

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PURSUEJOY 9/9/2012 8:16PM

    Wow - No REALLY! - I mean it - what a wonderful blog post! Thank you for the time and effort and thought you put into this.

I am encouraged by many things you say ~ but most of all, I am inspired by your goal of a marathon. I've thought about the people who take on that level of training as being WAY beyond my grasp...but this post makes me really reconsider my dismissiveness. So, for now, I'm still trying to just get my ability around the 5K, and am only one day into training. But, I will let the impact of your dedication linger with me.

And thanks for the scripture references...and connections ~ they are great!

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BLOOMING52 9/9/2012 6:14PM

    Thank you.

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NONNIEJTC 9/9/2012 6:14PM

  Amen! We are a spirit who has a soul and lives in a body. We need to keep in focus that these are mortal shells and one day we will shed them for immortality! But in the meantime, we are to treat our bodies as gifts from our Creator. I struggle with the body/identity thing too. I have to keep reminding myself that I am not my body, I only live in it. Thank you for your inspirational thoughts.

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GOODGALLEFT1 9/9/2012 6:08PM

    Thanks so much!

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CAROL494 9/9/2012 5:33PM

  Thanks for your words of encouragement! I appreciated being reminded of the verses, Galatians 5:22-23. emoticon

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FIT4MEIN2013 9/9/2012 4:45PM

    What wonderful insight! May God bless you on your journey.

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VICTUS_GIRLANYA 9/9/2012 4:44PM

    emoticon

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KACHENKEDE 9/9/2012 4:38PM

  thank you

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WALKINGCHICK 9/9/2012 4:07PM

    Great blog, and so true - it is only when you start to 5realise the beauty and potential of your own body that you can see the beauty and potential in others'.
Thanks for the great words, and the peaceful thoughts - much needed and most welcome.
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RUNANDRUN 9/9/2012 3:42PM

  Great blog!

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THINTASTICME 9/9/2012 3:37PM

    emoticon

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DONNA5281 9/9/2012 3:19PM

 

Love this blog!


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EARTHTONED84 9/9/2012 3:00PM

    Thank you for this awesome blog. I needed to hear this today.

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NAYNAY69 9/9/2012 12:38PM

    I think you are absolutely wonderful!

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ADELLE1024 9/9/2012 12:17PM

    What in the world?? This is the best post I have ever read regarding weight loss and spirituality, ever. I got goosebumps halfway through. My main reasons are similar to your #1 and 2, but 4.... I really have to think about that. I read that verse before, but never REALLY thought about it, especially in this context. That is a heavy verse. Anyway, thanks for sharing this,... now i am off to think about this, lol

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NITELITE72 9/9/2012 12:07PM

    Thank you for this...it was exactly what I needed to read today!!

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WARMSPRINGDAY 9/9/2012 10:44AM

    emoticon

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IS1GAR 9/9/2012 10:35AM

    Great Post! Stay Stong and God Bless!

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LYNNIERN 9/9/2012 9:55AM

    Awesome blog!

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SRIDGWAY38 9/9/2012 9:29AM

    Earlier today I posted in my group that I might try to run outside today. I have been running on a treadmill and swimming for a couple of months so I know that physically I can do it, but I am embarrassed to run outside where people can see me. Well after reading your blog I know that I can and will go for a run. Instead of worrying about the women who run by my house every day seeing me, and what they might think, I will hope that someone who doesn't exercise at all might see me and be inspired. Thanks for the wonderful and uplifting blog. Good luck, and keep going. You can definitely make it with an attitude like you have!

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JLEMUS1 9/9/2012 8:57AM

    Awesome!!! We can do this!! Keep Pushing!!! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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DROPOFHONEY 9/9/2012 7:46AM

    Awesome Blog.. :D

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CLUMBOY 9/9/2012 7:46AM

    wxcellent blog. thank you. emoticon

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BESSHAILE 9/9/2012 7:24AM

    Absolutely! All things with God.

We can achieve much - but it's always so MUCH better and MUCH more when we let Him into our lives.

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VON_1962 9/9/2012 6:06AM

    Thank you for the encouragement. What a beautiful blog!

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DR8561 9/8/2012 1:34PM

    Great post! This verse came to me earlier today: "1 Corinthians 10:31
So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God."

It is so easy to go from the self-interest we need to create a healthy lifestyle to complete selfishness. You gave me a great reminder to watch my priorities.
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TRACYNOTGIVINUP 9/8/2012 9:55AM

    I hope you have a great race this morning and I loved this blog. I can identify with so much that you wrote about. I started this journey to lose weight and get healthy. But it has taken on new meanings and new goals for me. It is an amazing freeing feeling I believe when you find the inner person in you who has been there all along and is finally freed when you let go of limitations. Thanks for another great blog.

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MOSTMOM1 9/8/2012 8:32AM

    Yes and Amen!
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FRANCES-AGAPE 9/7/2012 9:48PM

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YOU are INSPIRING ! (item #3)

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for putting it all on the line for us

Have a Wonderful Weekend

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BLESSINGS!

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ROB704 9/7/2012 3:46PM

    You know why I read your blogs? Because you ROCK!
Plain and simple.

You make me want to try things - your honesty helps me realize that others face the same challenges around motivation and willpower that I do...and it helps.

Keep 'em coming.

You said you wanted to touch lives? You touched mine. And I'm glad for it.

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