I considered having a t-shirt made with Hebrews 12:12 printed on it: “Therefore lift your drooping arms and strengthen your weak knees.”
It seemed appropriate, in a twisted sort of way. A year after my “speed limit” birthday (highway, not freeway), when my mailbox is overflowing with mail from AARP, I decide to sign up for a Couch to 5K program.
Enrolling and paying the nominal fee was the easy part. The 10 weeks of training that culminated in a 5K race…well, that was another story.
We started out 70 strong that first March evening, an interesting mix of shapes, sizes and speeds.
My plan was simple: sign up and show up. I figured I would get exercise, make friends, and briskly walk the course. I was sure my decades-of-being-a-softball-catcher knees would resist anything beyond that.
“It’s only 3.1 miles,” one friend said, in an attempt at encouragement.
“Oh, thanks for that reminder,” says me, the person who’s been known to get winded pushing the garbage can up the driveway.
So I was pleasantly surprised to discover that although I could not run, or even jog, I was fairly successful doing the dead man’s trot.
I continued to feel encouraged until week 8 when I realized what everyone else seemed to already know: REAL runners would be joining us for the actual race. Fast runners, and lots of them.
“The winners will finish in less than 20 minutes,” our trainer Todd explained.
I gulped. I was hoping to finish in less than an hour. Hmmmm, perhaps I should conveniently be out of town on race weekend.
Todd saw some of us shifting nervously on our barely-broken-in running shoes. I love what he said next. “Don’t run their race. Run your race.”
And so on May 11, 2013, I did just that: I ran my race. And in less than an hour. Hey, in less than 50 minutes!
Sure, the winner finished nearly a half hour before I did. But I finished.
It makes me wonder what else I might finish….if I just started.
“I ask the God of our Master, Jesus Christ, the God of glory, to make you intelligent and discerning in knowing Him personally, your eyes focused and clear, so that you can see exactly what it is He is calling you to do, grasp the immensity of this glorious way of life He has for His followers, oh, the utter extravagance of His work in us who trust Him—endless energy, boundless strength!” (Ephesians 1:18, 19 MSG)