This past week I went to a weekly training run at a nearby track put on by a local running group. This is the first time I had been in a while and it felt good to get "back on track". Now I know some people really hate running at a track, just going around in circles, but for me training at a track has some real benefits - mainly because that is where I first began really running.
As I slowly made my way around the track, I started to remember again why I loved running. I guess I kind of went back to the reasons I first fell "in love" with the sport. Each lap took me one step closer to becoming a runner again.
One of the things I love about running is the other runners. Every time I go to a local meet or training session, I run into some of the most encouraging people I've ever met. No matter where I am in my training, they spur me on to do better or lift me up when I feel like I'm failing. Although we "compete" against each other, it is a competition that brings out the best in each of us. I love finding that someone at a run that can be my "rabbit" so I can follow behind trying to keep up. Once in a rare while, I actually get to be the "rabbit" myself.
Another thing I love about running is the feeling of accomplishment. With each lap I complete I prove to myself once again that I CAN do it. On a day filled with frustration and failure and unfinished goals, being able to count off another round makes me feel like I still have it in me to see things to their end...no matter how long it takes me to get there.
Each lap I run around that track reminds me that I do love running - even on the days when I swear I don't want to do it. Getting back on track reminds me of the days when I first fell in love with the sport. I remember struggling to complete that first lap, and I remind myself that I did it once; I can do it again.
What other things in my life to I need to "get back on track" with? Are there other areas of my life where I have forgotten what gave me joy in them in the first place? Have I forgotten why I fell in love with my husband in the first place? Have I forgotten the joy that caused my heart to swell when I first looked into the faces of my children and the hopes I had for my family? In my career, have I forgotten the struggling first steps as I became a teacher and the excitement of sharing something new with my students? On a more personal level, have I forgotten the joy of worship and learning from He who created me?
Time has a way of fading things and making us forget why we do the things we do. Sometimes it's good to go back to the beginning, "get back on track" and remember why.
"But you walked away from your first love - why? What's going on with you anyway?... Turn back. Recover your dear early love." (Rev. 2:4-5 Message translation)