I would love to have the excuse that I don’t have an athletic bone in my body, but that is not the case. I have a very athletic build and I come from sturdy stock. I just hate exercise. I don’t enjoy sports. The challenge of pushing myself physically simply has no appeal. I have to suppress an inner rage and disgust every time someone facebooks about how much they love their workouts. Yeah right! Some of these people are Christians—don’t they know it’s ungodly to lie!?
The last couple of years, however, I have had a growing motivation to pursue a disciplined exercise regime. It is this inner-tube in my middle that hangs over the side of my jeans. I don’t know where it came from, but it doesn’t seem to be going away. So, now I “run.”
Frankly, I only enjoy doing things that I am exceptionally good at on the first couple of tries. I’ve been fortunate enough for that to be my experience with a few things, so I kinda stick with those. Athletics is not on that list. No matter how much I wanted to be a part of a team as a kid, I couldn’t make myself go out for a sport that I knew other kids had been playing for years. I was terrified to not be one of the best. I’m actually very competitive, but you’d never know it. I compete by not competing—that way no one will ever beat me.
Until recently, the furthest I had ever run in my life was the mandatory mile in PE. Today, I broke the two mile mark. I am actually proud. Maybe I should feel silly announcing that amidst all the posts about invigorating 6 and 8 miles runs, but I don’t. I started out a little over a month ago as an out of shape 32-year-old woman who struggled to get through a half mile. Now I’m an out of shape 32-year-old woman who is getting stronger. (Go ahead and sing the Rocky theme song here if you know it).
My husband is my coach. He faithfully runs by my side at my pace (which sometimes means that his long legs nearly hop up and down in place). He encourages me and makes me feel strong and brave. At first, I was hesitant to have him join me. I was embarrassed to be so pathetic in front of him. How foolish. His support has been such a strength to me.
Oh God, the things I have missed for the sake of petty pride and fear of failure. I’m so sorry. Sorry for the people I could have reached. The ways I could have grown. The things I could have shared. I’m sorry for hiding away the things you have put into me. I’m sorry for the excuses— that is not my gifting, someone else can connect with that person better than I can, I don’t have time, I don’t know how, it’s not my thing, I’m too tired…
But thank God I can decide to be different. If God gives me the ability and the opportunity to do something that needs done, it doesn’t matter if I am the most shining talent for the task. What absurd and spoiled criteria for choosing how to invest my life.
Today was my longest run ever. Tomorrow can be too. The rest of my life is an opportunity to push further than I ever have before. To be humble enough to do things that that matter, irrespective of how many people are better at it than me. To offer my life to God without reservation.