Thursday, November 19, 2015

I may never be fast...

I have come to the realization that I will never be fast. I used to be at least "sort of" fast, but as my years have advanced, my speed has diminished. With that in mind, it would be easy to see how I would get discouraged and just give up, but then things like this happen to remind me why...

Tonight I participated in a local "Go H.A.R.D." (Hug A Runner Day) event. It was only a mile run, and totally for fun, but just what I needed as I start to work on getting back into running again.

I started out with all the other runners as they started into an easy jog. The best part was watching all the parents with their kids as they made their way around the course. Before long, I found myself running alone. I've noticed that happens a lot. There are aBUNCH of runners ahead of me and a few behind me, and I run alone. That's okay. To be honest I am kind of comfortable in that spot. I actually like running alone.

It was then that I came up behind two little girls who had sped past me earlier, but now they were walking. I encouraged them a couple of times to keep going. They would, of course, take off at top speed and leave me, only to have me plod up behind them in a few seconds.
Finally, I ran along side the littlest one, (I'll call her "pink kitty" since she wore a pink kitten hat,) and this time I told her I'd run along side her. She started to kick on the jets again only this time I told her to slow down...we'd just go slow. 

She was doing her best, but she looked up at me and said, "My heart hurts! It feels like it's breaking!" 

I nodded and said, "I know, but that's just your heart growing stronger. Don't stop. Don't give up. You can do this!"

We ran along side by side, me talking to her about her really cool hat, asking about her school, telling her she was doing great, encouraging her that she was a really fast runner for a 5 year old..."I don't think I could have run that fast when I was 5," I said. 

She looked up and asked, "How old are you?" 

"I'm 54. Pretty old, huh." Yes, she nodded. ( that moment it felt pretty good to be that old!)

Step by step we ran together. "Not much further," I said. 

The finish line was getting closer, and she wanted to speed up, but I told her to hold back till the final turn. As we approached that last turn, I told her I wanted her to run as hard as she could. I figured she'd leave me behind when she kicked in those afterburners, but we weren't done. She gave it a burst of speed, but then I could see her slowing. I had to speed up and run beside her, egging her on.

That little "pink kitty" crossed the finishing line at full speed, so proud of herself and what she had done! She finished her mile run!

I have to be honest, I was pretty happy too. No, I hadn't run my fastest mile - far from it. Instead, I helped someone else reach their goal.

The Christian walk is a lot like this run. Sometimes I feel my "best" days are behind me. I'm not nearly as fast as I once was. Only now, I have an even better reason to run. I get to run alongside others who are just starting their race....those whose hearts "feel like they are breaking" and I get to encourage them that they are just getting stronger.

I get to talk to them about little things to help get their minds off the pain. I get to remind them to slow down...we'll get there one step at a time. I get to watch them do things they never thought possible and help them simply not to quit.

No, I'll never be fast like some others, but this is my race, the one that allows me to meet people all along the way that simply need to hear, "You can do this." This is why I run this race called life.  Care to join me?

1 Thessalonians 5:11 (Msg)

So speak encouraging words to one another. Build up hope so you’ll all be together in this, no one left out, no one left behind. I know you’re already doing this; just keep on doing it.

Hebrews 10:22-25 (MSG)

So let’s do it—full of belief, confident that we’re presentable inside and out. Let’s keep a firm grip on the promises that keep us going. He always keeps his word. Let’s see how inventive we can be in encouraging love and helping out, not avoiding worshiping together as some do but spurring each other on, especially as we see the big Day approaching.

*Note: I originally said this was Pink Kitty's FIRST mile. I later discovered after reading a post from her mom that it was not her first mile. Thanks Christy for allowing me to run with your precious child. 
I also realized, it was probably one of the most fun miles I've run in a long time....Pink Kitty took my mind off my own labored breathing for a while!

Repost from 2013

No comments: