Thursday, August 16, 2012

Don't Quit

Ty and I wake early to run.  Sometime before 6 AM, usually.  I love drinking in the beauty of a never-before-seen sunrise.  Even more so, I love the quietness around us with little more than the slap of running shoes hitting the pavement.  (Ok, so, I’m loud.  I’m a loud runner.  Loud breather, actually.  (Is that a word?)  At first, my breathing reminded me of the sounds coming from the laboring heifers giving birth for the first time in the maternity shed next-door to my childhood home.) 

(I’m better now.)

Those first few weeks of running were hard.  Really hard.  Ty was content to run at my painfully slow pace, as well as keep our time.  How I loved the sound of that beep, signaling a walk break.

Running sixty seconds seemed doable.  Walking ninety – heaven below.  But each week, the amounts crept higher and higher.  Believe or not, I actually got scared.

I’ll never forget the evening I sat on the couch, dreading the morning.  Our goal was to run a half-mile and I was petrified.  I hadn’t run that far in years! 

What if I couldn’t do it? 

What if I failed? 

What if I failed… in front of my son?

The next morning came.  I wasn’t impressed.

Ty and I got through our warm ups and off we went.  The first ten yards little bit went well, and I inwardly praised myself for being strong.  But before long, my mind took over and informed me that it was time to stop this personal torture.

I still struggle with that.  My mind.  It’s an interesting analogy to me. 

Life brings with it its struggles.  Some annoying, some insurmountable.  Marriage… parenting… friendships… finances… health… they all take work.   And sometimes, the only option we have it to take another step, or collapse right where we are.

But I learned something while running.

If I let my mind take control, it is all too happy to tell me to “quit”. 

This is too hard.

It hurts.

You’re too old.

Ahh… but my son is watching.

As a mother, that was all it took that morning to dig deep within, ignore the invitations to fail, shift my focus towards the One Who gives me strength, breathe like a cow and keep running.

I looked towards home – our goal – and saw Amy standing in the yard watching us.  More reason to push beyond the pain, and finally, I was there.  I had made it.

And like the push-puppets from my Grandma’s toy box, I collapsed right there in the front yard.

We laugh about that morning now.  Especially now.  A half-mile seems minimal – though we are still far from marathon status.  But I jotted that memory down in my journal.  A reminder to myself as a mother – “your kids are watching you”.

What will they see me do when life gets tough?  Quitting is easiest.  Less painful.  Quicker.  But having experienced the heights of victory, I know I cannot will not fail.  I choose to press on.  To show my children that doing what you set out to do has value.

This world has endless methods for labeling you a “failure”.  Will you accept their prognosis for your lives?  Or is it time to dig deeper, ignore the lies, focus on God’s truth, and keep running.

Breathing like a cow is optional.

Don't burn out; keep yourselves fueled and aflame. 
Be alert servants of the Master, cheerfully expectant. 
Don't quit in hard times; 
pray all the harder.

Romans 12 MES

1 comment:

Mary Kelso said...

Well done. Well said.

Great post!!!!!