Every other day since May of this year, I have laced up some shoes and pounded 2 miles out of my dirt road.
I have 2 pair of running tights… and they are that: tight. It’s not pretty.
After a couple months, I bought some real running shoes… lighter and simpler than the cute ones I’ve always worn with jeans. I bought socks that don’t have stripes and don’t come up to my knees.
Before you get all Yay Yahoo It’ll change your Life Anyone Can Do It One Step In Front of the Other It’s Where I Do My Best Thinking on me, let me say this:
I hate it.
I sure do hate running.
I do not feel awesome when I am running.
I cannot talk when I’m running, much less solve the world’s problems.
I don’t finish on a high with rosy cheeks and happy muscles.
My body has not changed and is not super thrilled with me.
I am not a runner’s runner.
So, why do it?
Because for 20 years, I have assumed that I could not. True: I ran track my freshman year in high school… sprints and certainly nothing over 400m in practice. True: I was a Kinesiology (that’s P.E., in layman’s terms) major in college and suffered through every agility and physical requirement that came my way. I survived both simply because I did not like my alternative options.
For 20 years, running has been the thing I cannot do, that I could not be great at, that I wouldn’t learn.
When given the choice, I choose less. Less complicated, less hard, less risk.
When a friend asked me to join them on a 5k in May, I laughed and agreed- signing up before I could come up with an excuse to bail. I signed up Curt, too, just for good measure. And ever since that weekend, I have kept going.
It’s not awesome. I have no illusions or desires of personal bests and sleek silhouettes. I just wanted to change my mind, and 30 minutes every other day was the simplest way to do it. No equipment. No membership. No kids. No cds. No diet. Just… run.
I wanted to quiet the voice. That voice that whispers, “Yeah, well… you can’t do that. AND, you don’t have to. Running means racing and winning… you can’t do that. Running means walking out of your house in awkward clothing… you can’t do that. Running means having familiar cars pass you… you can’t do that. Running is physically uncomfortable and public and hard.”
Actually, I can do that.
I can’t do it well, which always stopped me before, but I CAN DO IT.
I am learning, slowly, that God is not as impressed with results as He is with effort. I have taught this to students, prayed this with my children, and written this to lost hearts… but I have never personally accepted it.
He is not as impressed with your results, Katie, as He is with your effort.
Don’t talk yourself out of it. Don’t wait for perfection. Don’s assume everyone else out there is loving their race.
Just try. Stop when you have to, stretch at the end, and check it off the list.