I ran my first 5k when I was in my early twenties. Because of my overactive brain, I quickly bored of the repetitive movements of one foot in front of the other. I would roll my eyes when people talked of loving the sport. Every second of training, and of the few races I ran that summer were pure torture for me.
I had gotten into the best shape of my life after the birth of my second son. I had gained a ton of weight after having the two boys so close together that I decided to take charge of my health and started exercising regularly. The workout videos I did made it enjoyable and fun, so the time flew by. Because I considered myself to be somewhat “in-shape” (whatever that really means…) after 5 months of exercise, I decided that I had to do a few 5k’s to prove it.
So long story short, I bought a manual treadmill and stuck it out on my patio as my tiny 800sq ft home didn’t have room for it. When I was finished running, which was really just me running for a minute, then walking for ten, I would fold it up and push it into my garage.
I “trained” for a few weeks, and although I had never run for more than 5 minutes straight, I found myself standing at the starting line. The gun was fired and I was feeling pretty confident because I shot out ahead of a pretty good chunk of my fellow runners. I was cruising and running like my life depended upon it. But if you are a runner in any capacity, you know exactly what happened next.
I got to the one-mile mark and crashed. I lost all of the stamina in me and stopped to walk for a while. I kicked off to start a jog, but a minute into my slow jog I just couldn’t keep going. So I walked again. Then jogged again, but my legs felt so heavy that I just couldn’t keep up the pace and went back to walking. I ended up walking more than I ran in that race. I didn’t finish last, but I certainly got passed by most of the people I blew by in the beginning.
It’s been about a decade since my running career began and ended… but I got to thinking about it when I was reflecting upon my lent this year. Every year I start off strong. I’m going to do ALL the things and go 100mph, so get out of my way! But by the halfway mark I begin to lost steam and start cheating on the things I gave up, I become more lax in my rigorous prayer practices and I begin to beat myself up. Why am I such a failure? Why can I never follow through? What is wrong with me? I’m such a horrible person!
In case you were wondering, that’s where I am at right now. So if you are too, I got ya. Here’s some wisdom I learned when I was a runner for 3 whole months. Regardless if you are running as fast as you can, or walking at a turtle’s pace, you are still heading in the right direction. Sooner or later, you WILL cross the finish line.
As long as you haven’t neglected every Lenten resolution and slid in the complete opposite direction, you will emerge Easter Morning as a new creation. Part of the old you will die on Good Friday, and the new you, the one that was purified this lent, will rise victoriously.
I hope you, like myself, will continue to search for the things that are keeping us from Our Lord and continue to remove them. Even if it is something small, it is one step closer to resting in the Heart of Jesus. Let’s have no regrets this Lent. Let’s reevaluate and recommit to making this the best Lent ever!
Until next time, your sister in Christ,