Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Me & Running

Blogging has influenced me in so many ways. The biggest & most priceless gift has been the way it's impacted my relationship with Jesus; I can truly say blogging was majorly used in the dramatic transformation that took place as I truly surrendered my life to Christ. I found blogs written by women living on mission for Jesus, and realized that my heart ached for that. I discovered that I, too, wanted to live on mission for Jesus. And praise Him for placing that desire on my heart!

Blogging has also brought about other hobbies; some of which have come and gone, but others seem to have stuck for good. Running is one of those hobbies. 

I was never a runner before blogging. If I managed to run a mile, I was dang proud of myself. 2 or 3 miles? Gave myself a major pat on the back, and permission to not work out for the rest of the week. I wanted to be a runner, and would go through phases of running with my roommate or forcing myself to get out there on my own on a semi-regular basis, but it never stuck. It wasn't my thing. 

I started blogging, and found all of these incredibly inspiring stories of women getting healthy. One of my favorites that comes to mind is this amazing woman. Reading these stories gave me new fuel to write my own fitness story. I can vividly remember going to sign up for a gym membership on my lunch break, vowing to use this new step in adult-hood as a means of bettering myself emotionally and physically. Taking care of your body doesn't just seem to impact the body, does it? It definitely does something to the soul, too. 

What started in the gym translated itself outside on the pavement when I suddenly found myself running farther than I ever had been able to before. A love of fitness came over me, and I was feeling stronger and healthier than ever before. 

But God, in His infinite kindness, knew my heart enough to know how easily I could turn this new found love of exercise into an idol. He certainly used a 6 week period of an injury to remind me that exercise can't be where I look to find identity, security, comfort, or confidence. 

As my body healed, so did my heart. I was able to reframe my mindset on running, allowing me to enjoy it without idolizing it. I injured myself training for my very first half marathon, and when I got back out on the streets and couldn't even run a mile straight without stopping, I seriously doubted my ability to ever accomplish that goal. 

7 months after getting my boot off, I proved myself wrong

And 5 months after that, I did it again

Ever since my stress fracture, running has become such a spiritual experience for me. There is never a race that I don't rely on Jesus to get me to that finish line. No matter how short or long, I know He is there giving me strength and endurance. 

{If you don't know who Daisy is, you can read about that here.}

I'm thankful for the way running has grown me closer to God. I'm thankful for the way it always leaves me praising Him and rejoicing with Him. And of course, I'm thankful for the impact it has on my body, health and mind. I never feel stronger than after a good, hard run. 

My 2014 Bucket List included the goal to run at least one half marathon this year. I'm happy to announce I'll be kicking off training, since I've officially signed up for this one in May! 

Considering I didn't train too well for my last half marathon, I really have no idea how training will go. But I do know that I'm excited to get out there and run my little heart out, especially when that means getting some good, quality time with my main Man. 

And just so you know, if I can do this, so can you. Have you ever had dreams of running a race you never thought you could? Maybe a 5K, a 10K, a half marathon, or heck, a marathon? Get out there and do it. Because you can. 


Leah said...

i love seeing your races, such determination is so admirable girl. but i absolutely love even more your determination to rely on Jesus for it.

Caitlin said...

You are so determined and I love it! I need to get my legs out there ASAP

Janna Renee said...

This is beautiful girl! You've come so far, and it really is great that blogging can have such positive impacts on our lives! I seriously applaud you for running a half! That's intense!