Today I ran in our local Labor Your Legs race and I thought back to one year ago today.
While I don't really remember what the beginning of that race was like, I do remember the end. About 3/4 of a mile from the end I started to feel a little weak - but hey, it's South Mississippi and our cool is considered sauna setting to most others. I finished the race beating myself up for not running the entire race, but I did finish. As I waited for the door-prizes and awards, I felt like hammered out puppy poop! Something was wrong, I just didn't know what.
I now know that I was on the edge of a low blood sugar episode....I was an undiagnosed diabetic. About a week later, thanks to a wonderful secretary at our school, I was forced to go to the doctor and told I was diabetic. Not possible, was my reaction. I'm a workout machine and I have no family history of the disease. The nurse practitioner patiently listened to my denial and then told me okay, but I needed to come back the next day and learn to give myself injections. My numbers were astronomically high - no wonder I was tired!
Now, a year later, I am off injections and balance my levels with diet, exercise, and a pill. (Wish I could get rid of the pill, but at least I don't start my day with a needle.) I ran the race today, and while I was by no means fast, I finished second in my age group. I felt fine after run/walking 5K and honestly could probably have done a full 5 miles had it been called for. My, what a difference a year can make.
In the past year, I've learned a lot. I've learned I am not invincible. I have learned to listen to my body. When something feels "not quite right", I stop and take inventory. I've also learned that when my mind begs for massive amounts of chocolate cake, I have to take charge and say NO! I need to use wisdom. Sometimes I have to be a big girl and do what's right no matter how much my little girl begs and pleads.
I've learned that this is the only vehicle I will get while on this earth and I don't want to stand before my Heavenly Father one day and say, "I know You had more for me to do, but I just was too tired." I want to be able to give all I've got during this life and run across that final finish line to hear "Well done." That means sometimes I have to deny my flesh...and that's REALLY hard when it comes to chocolate cake!
I've learned (make that AM learning) to run my race - not someone else's. I'm not one of those elite runners that finishes the 5k and then passes me TWICE in their cool down run, but that's okay. I run MY race and remember I'm still faster than my couch. I do what I can do. Some weeks that is more than others, but every week I make sure I do something.
I realize that a year from now, I'll wish I had started today...which brings me to the challenge. I stumbled across a blogger that has issued a 5 week fall challenge: 5 week challenge - Living and Active and it looks like just the sort of thing that helps motivate me to do a little more. It includes a physical challenge, a spiritual challenge and some accountability...I definitely need all three. I will try to post each week about how I am doing with the challenge - and I will be honest...even if I fail miserably! I'm great at starting things, it's the follow-thru that usually messes me up! Feel free to join me in this challenge and to "call me on it" when I fail. Maybe it'll even help with my chocolate cake cravings!
How about it? No need to wait till January first...let's make this a new year that we can be proud of. What a difference a year can make.
Hebrews 12: 1 - 3 (Msg)
Do you see what this means—all these pioneers who blazed the way, all these veterans cheering us on? It means we'd better get on with it. Strip down, start running—and never quit! No extra spiritual fat, no parasitic sins. Keep your eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished this race we're in. Study how he did it. Because he never lost sight of where he was headed—that exhilarating finish in and with God—he could put up with anything along the way: Cross, shame, whatever. And now he's there, in the place of honor, right alongside God. When you find yourselves flagging in your faith, go over that story again, item by item, that long litany of hostility he plowed through. That will shoot adrenaline into your souls!
Ecclesiastes 4:9 - 12 (NIV)
Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: if either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up. Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone? Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.