It was a bitter 38 degrees and though this was a 5k run we were about to tackle, runners were bundled up like we were about to build a snowman. With the wind and moisture, thermometers told us the ‘real feel’ was 29.
We were here to celebrate physical wellness and mental wellness and I brought 167 of my friends to run with me; there was no way I could back out.
Some didn’t show up to brave the chilly temps and others wrestled with their decision to even be at the start line. As the vicious air took a bite at my cheeks, I felt their pain. We were dressed in layers, including gloves, and the wind wasn’t letting up. Cold blasts clawed at the back of my throat and deflated the lungs more than anything. Tennessee’s pollen had noses all stuffed up. The odds were not favorable for a finish.
In the midst of the suffering pain, there was an unending persistence in my mind to get out of the ‘giving up’ head space and refocus on how my legs run without the resistance.
When that didn’t work… I started a conversation with Jesus about strength and encouragement to press through. He played back the words I told my teammates at the start line, “just focus on finishing. Walk it. Jog it. Run it. Whatever you need to do to finish. Not for a medal, but for you.”
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. (Hebrews 12:1-3)
Friend, you came to finish this race. That’s the goal. Don’t think about who’s way out in front or focus on the pain too long. This is between you today and you yesterday.
Fix your eyes on Jesus.
Be kind to your soul. We can be our greatest enemy or our most encouraging friend.
When you catch your breath after digging into that finish line, you’ll probably be surprised by the stats at how well you actually did in this race. #lifelesson
You’re doing better than you think. This physical endurance is building a mental perseverance. Keep going.
With each steady step, the end is one day closer. You’re almost there, Friend. Keep your head up, chest out and your shoulders pulled back.
In your faith. And fitness. With your family. As well as friends. At your job. And in the places that keep you leaning on Jesus.
You are strong to show up. You are fearless to finish.