This past Saturday I had made plans with a running buddy to get up early and get a long run in. My husband had meetings all morning and I knew there was no other way to make it work. I’ve started marathon training, and I want to build a good solid base to really conquer this marathon. I’ve had two horrible experiences in the past and I would like a decent race.
Well, foolishly, I decided to stay up WAY too late the night before with some friends; it was midnight by the time I was in bed. Not a great idea for someone who had to wake up in four and a half hours to run 12 miles. Needless to say, I canceled my running plans, and felt like a failure in the process.
One poor decision, albeit full of fun and much needed girl time, led to a domino effect. I was ready to throw in the towel for Saturday and scrap the long run altogether.
Until I remembered my goals.
I want to run a good marathon. I want to eventually qualify for Boston. That’s not going to happen if I sit back and wait for the perfect opportunity to come to me. I have to get up, put on my big girl pants, and get after it.
So after some heavenly coffee, some clean up, and kissing my husband goodbye, I turned on the TV for the kids, and hopped on the treadmill for a very long run.
I’ve shared my feelings about the treadmill before. I REALLY don’t like it. I’m incredibly grateful for it, but I can’t stand it. It’s a giant hamster wheel for humans. I know there are plenty of people who prefer the treadmill over the cold and that’s fine, but there is no amount of TV that can help me enjoy it. I just get way too stir crazy.
But my choices from the night before took away my options for anything else. (There’s a life lesson, kids.) So I turned on some podcasts, muted some episodes of Bob Ross’s Joy of Painting, and got to work.
It was tough. I wanted to stop the entire time. In fact, at one point I said to myself that 8 miles was long enough and I could quit.
So you know what I did?
I messaged my sisters, and told them. I gave myself and accountability partner. Having that little check point to keep me on track, was the incentive I needed to keep plugging, even though I was hating life.
So many times we just want to quit, don’t we? I can’t tell you the number of times I want to throw in the towel and say, why should I clean when it just gets messy again in five minutes? Why should I put effort into cooking a lovely meal when my kids just sit and complain about it? Why should I show my husband patience or forgiveness when we’re just going to have the same fight over and over again?
It’s hard! Quitting is the easier and less painful option.
But nothing worth doing is ever easy. That’s part of what makes it so worthwhile. Marriage isn’t easy. Motherhood isn’t easy. Honest and responsible work isn’t easy. Running isn’t easy. Taking time for ourselves isn’t easy.
Yet all of these blessings are so worthwhile!
Children aren’t easy, but they teach you to love in a way you never could have comprehended before! Children give you a small taste of the love our Heavenly Father has for us: loving the sometimes unlovable.
Marriage isn’t easy, but it brings so much joy! It gives a foretaste of the heavenly bliss we experience and models the everlasting love Christ has for his church.
All of these things require us to dig deeper and push harder, sometimes through pain and discomfort, but eventually lead to a reward that is far greater than we can imagine.
Life is like that, isn’t it?
It’s full of pain and discomfort, trial and training, heartache and heartbreak, and yet, the reward is far greater than we can ever imagine: everlasting joy and peace with our Heavenly Father!
Run in such a way as to get the prize.
1 Corinthians 9:24
I finished my long run, and I’m so glad I did. The work during was not fun, but it made me a stronger runner, and I know that when the time comes, I’ll reap the reward.
As you run through this life, whatever your pain or trial is now, don’t give up! Remember the reward is far greater that you can even comprehend!
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