I have a confession: I detest running.
I try not to use the word “hate,” but I’ll be honest, this is one of the things that I do. Now, all my fellow health and life coaches, don’t come for me. Nor my family and friends who are athletes, gym lovers, trainers and nutrition coaches. I’m all for holistic wellness and fitness, I’ve just never been a runner. Hear me out.
In elementary school, our gym teacher used to make us run around the gym. He played the same country music song every time. I remember it to this day. The other thing that happened every time I can recall: I. Finished. Last.
I was very smart in school. Everyone who knows me knows I can talk to almost anyone about basically anything, so I was also very social in school, but the one thing I was not, was athletic.
I had slightly bow legs and I was pigeon-toed. When I was a kid all I knew was that I was chubby and slow. But, as I look back, I realize, I also simply wasn’t built for it. Because it was the one area in my life in which I was a failure (at that time, there’s been plenty more since, but what’s success without some failures??), I never wanted to run and I grew to hate it. But, each P.E. class, there I was, running my race, finishing in last place.
Although I’ve since learned that I love and am quite good at activities like hiking, boxing and yoga, I wasn’t built to run like Flo Jo or Serena Williams. Despite this, a few years later, the same gym teacher selected me as the captain of the safety patrols.
Why? Because I was always a leader, even when I was finishing last in a foot race.
That’s a word for someone. I don’t know what you were built to do. But, I do know this: You’ve got to find out what it is and run your race.
If you’re not a Christian, don’t tune me out because I dropped a Scripture on you. One of the things that I love most about the Truth is that it really does set us free.
The first principle of this Word is letting go of the things that entangle us. Umm hmmm. You know what they are. The things that distract and hold us back. The things that weigh us down. Those are the things that prevent us from running our race. Whether we’re comparing our lives to others and feel insecure or envious. Whether we’re dealing with some addiction that soothes our worries and anxieties. Whether we’re running to satisfy our appetites with people, places and things to fill voids in us that feel empty, everybody has something that--if we’re not careful--and we’re not honest with ourselves, can and will catch us up. You’ve probably already been caught up.
You aren’t alone. Change and letting go of habits and hangups isn’t easy, but it is do-able. And it’s necessary if you’re going to finish first. The second point actually has two important parts--1) you’ve got to run your race; and 2) you’ve got to do it with perseverance.
Perseverance = continued effort to do something despite difficulty, failure, opposition or delay in achieving success.
A great example of this is that most of us, right now, are preserving through 2021; despite our losses and setbacks in 2020 or well before that. In spite of our grief. In spite of the mistakes we’ve made that we sometimes feel haunt us to this day--we’re still here. But not to stand still. You’ve got to run. Though not to just anywhere. And not with just anybody. Nor in any old way.
You’ve got to run your race.
There’s only one you. Whether you have the hand in life you wanted, or not, you’ve got only one real choice: play the hand you were dealt. No, you don’t have so and so’s looks or money. No, you don’t have so and so’s personality or connections. No, you don’t have so and so’s relationship status or symbols of success. But, you do have you.
Run your race; from the place of who you are within. What are you passionate about? What’s your purpose? What have you had to persevere through in life? I guarantee you, there’s a juicy story there just waiting to finish being written. But, you’ll never see it unfold by imitating or playing a bit role in someone else’s.
Run your race. It’s the only way to win.