Thursday, May 3, 2012

Leavin' It All on the Floor

No, this isn't a post on the current state of my kitchen — though, it is fitting for that as well. :-p What I'm really talking about was inspired by my run this morning. I mentioned back in January that one of my goals for this year was to train for and run a 5k race. I played basketball in high school, but after tearing my ACL senior year, physical fitness was really put on the back burner, and I haven't been active in nearly 12 years!!
Yeah, I'm the guy in this picture, not that athletic girl.

Besides that, I've actually never liked running. My philosophy of the past was, "Running is for being chased."But I've always wanted to like running, if that makes any sense. So, when my baby turned a year old 2 months ago, I started the Couch to 5k training program. It has been a challenge to everything I am: I have to get up early; I have to make myself get dressed and take those first steps; I have to focus on proper technique; I had to recover from injury and overcome the temptation to give into the thoughts of failure so early on; I've had to be dedicated....

But boy, have I had support!! The app I use will post to facebook and Twitter each time you complete a workout, so I do. My friends and family have "liked" each of those posts, and several people have told me they were inspired and proud. And of course my husband has been amazing - often going in late to work if we've had a rough night and I was late dragging myself out of bed. He has listened patiently as I have recapped each excursion, and he didn't laugh when I determined to call it my "run" even when I was mostly walking and only slowly jogging. :-)

Anyway, my race is this Saturday. I'm running the 5k Heather Ridley Fleeman Race for Hope. Different than the Komen race I had anticipated running, the proceeds from this race stay in the area and 100% goes to caring for local cancer patients through Hope Cancer Resources. I respect this organization so much and know that they are making a difference. My father-in-law is the President and CEO, and I have several dear friends who have directly benefited from their support and services. I am proud to run for this cause!

Back to this morning, with the race being Saturday and my having to take those 2 weeks off for my knee, I didn't quite complete the 5k program in time for the race. :-/ Today was my last training day, and although it was my longest run, it was only 2.5 miles (a 5k race is 3.1 miles - yikes!!). I wanted to run it out, really I did, but along came the 1 mile mark, and I was thinking, "I'm not gonna make it. I'll just give in and walk a little now and save some energy for the other mile and a half."

And then, it hit me — what am I afraid of? Why not just leave it all out there? Knowing that that run was going to be the hardest physical thing I was going to do today, there was no reason why I shouldn't just give it all I had.

There has been more than one morning where I've just asked myself "why?". It's not like I HAVE to do this. No one is holding a gun to my head. But I have pressed on, and the sense of accomplishment has been tremendous! I have to focus on that to get me over each hump and bump in the road.

What other areas in my life do I need to apply this "leave it all on the floor" philosophy?

Homemaking — Do I feel like the tasks before me are overwhelming? Do I get bitter when I feel like my portion of work is bigger than everyone else's? Do I sometimes want to take a month off so that my family will appreciate what I do around here?

Parenting — Do I serve my children or my own interests first? Do I contemplate giving up and just letting my kids run wild because training and nurturing is just too much work, and I'm tired, darn it!?

Marriage — Do I think of ways my husband can serve me or think of ways I can serve him? Do I grow weary of studying him these almost 9 years of marriage and think about giving up on ever understanding this man God gave me?

Spirituality — Do I sometimes believe that living life without God's constant guidance could be more fun? Do I frequently wonder if He's really taking care of us? Do I feel like prayer and devotion are futile in this season?

There's more to this list, I'm sure. But I'm inspired to think about it differently now. I need to think about it more like this morning's run.

What am I saving myself for? What am I holding back from the tasks set before me? Why do I feel the need to reserve something? Why am I holding back LIFE from my life? This is the life I've been given, and I want to leave it all out there on the floor! May I never question if I gave it my all!

Some verses to contemplate:
Hebrews 9:27
Hebrews 12:1-2
I Corinthians 9:24
I Corinthians 10:31

And, if I fall, I fall trying. If I lay it all on the line, remembering that I'm not even guaranteed tomorrow, then I'll never need to ask myself, "What if I had tried harder?"

And, even if someone else seems to run better, faster, harder than me, good for them!! We've all got our own course, our own burdens, and our own measure of grace. Let's cheer each other on! 

And, for the record, I did run every bit of those two and a half miles. :-)