I write a lot about running. Sometimes when I think about it, it seems kind of silly to write (and think) so much about picking up one foot and putting down the other foot as fast as I can over and over again. But I love to run and I love to write and the two have morphed together resulting in this blog. So I write about amazing running experiences like PR races, special moments with good friends, and sunrises that blow me away. I also get down into the less interesting nitty gritty of numbers and times, predictions and training. I love to tell and relive the experiences, and I like to write the numbers to organize it all in my mind.
And I feel blessed by all of this. It is no exaggeration to say that every single time I run, I am thankful to be able to do so. But even with all this love and thankfulness and time spent writing and thinking about it...I know it really does not matter. Nope. Not a single mile of it. It does not matter in the big scheme of things.
So what matters? Love. Glorifying God. Helping others. Remembering what matters. And while running is a huge blessing in my life, I think it can also serve as a distraction from what matters. I was reminded of this on Sunday. Gary Bradley spoke of the good we should be doing, but how easy it is to get distracted. He said those distractions may not even be wrong. Like running. Running isn't wrong, but I could get so wrapped up in it that I forget what matters. More important than my physical self is a spiritual self that needs a workout as well.
As cliche as it may sound, this month makes me reflect more so than usual on being thankful (although I've been trying to keep that going with my list of gifts). And once I get started counting... look out! In the book, "One Thousand Gifts", one of the most powerful things I read said that if you fill your mind with the things for which you are thankful, there is no room for all of the other negative thoughts (that's my paraphrase, although I quote it in this entry). You can only feel one emotion at a time, so you can use thankfulness to battle against anger, hurt, or any other sort of negative feeling that has taken hold.
And let me just say if you haven't tried it, sitting around being thankful feels pretty great. I'd rather give up whatever anger or frustration or worry or jealousy or any other negative feeling for a thankful one. It feels so much better to sit around day dreaming about the amazing husband I married than to think about what I don't like about my job.
This applies to my running because lately I have been worried. I've been worried about Running Start, LLC and finally chasing my passion to DO what I love. I've been worried about my upcoming 50 mile and whether or not I've trained enough and if I'll have a good race. I even worry about what others think of all this, although I usually give that one up pretty quickly because I have zero control over it. Instead of smiling and being grateful for the run that day, I'm sitting at my desk with a furrowed brow looking at the mileage numbers with a critical eye. That is not what my journey as a runner is about.
My journey as a runner is about being thankful for each mile. It is about being thankful for the amazing relationships I have because of my involvement in the sport. It is about staying healthy and being strong. It is about glorifying God in all that I do, and making sure He (and others) know that I'm grateful for every personal success. It is also about sharing it with others. My story is one of an average Jane doing more than she ever imagined and I believe wholeheartedly that others (you) can do those things too if they (you) want. Hence the founding of Running Start, LLC.
So as Thanksgiving draws nearer, followed by the 50 mile ultra that has consumed my thoughts of late, I want to remember what really matters. While I want to be the very best runner I can be, and give everything I do my all, I want to be a good person more. I want to be a good wife and friend and sister and follower of Christ. I want people to not only know that I love to run, but that I also love. Period.
That is what really matters to me.