Another Running Analogy

Dear Readers,

Oooooooooh, I am sitting on the floor, stretching muscles, my knee in a brace, icing body parts, just pooped from today.  I ran 6 miles and it felt great (way better than I expected), but then I was on my feet ALL day dancing and now I am tired, tired, tired.

Today marks one year from the day I became "Lindsay - marathon finisher".  Thank you, thank you, I am quite proud.  It is funny to end up being so sore just like one year ago today.

Last Saturday when I was running, I had an interesting experience.

Let's start at the beginning.

In October of 2009, I told my husband that we needed more family time together and that we were going to get through training for a marathon together.  I found a jogging stroller to buy and bought it that same day.  I found a training schedule online and we started to run.  Now, we were not runners before.

It is HARD to start running.  The first few days that we went were torture.  We were out of shape.  It was a struggle to put one foot in front of the other.  We easily got side aches, BUT we stuck with it.  We encouraged each other to finish whatever our little schedule said that we had to do.  If we had to run at 9:30 at night then we bundled up Daughter and put her to sleep in the jogging stroller.  For the first 2-3 weeks, it was really hard before our bodies adjusted to our new regime of running 4 times a week with increasing mileage.

In January, Husband got an injury and we decided that he was not going to be able to run the marathon in April, not being 100% sure of the extent of the injury.  We had hit the point where we were running 10 miles on Saturdays.  By this time I was in a good rhythm, my body loving running, and I continued the training and completed the marathon.  (If you are interested in reading about my last marathon or why I love to run, enjoy.)

Well, after the marathon I took some time off.  A lot of time.  Summer was hot and I didn't want to wake up in the early, early morning to run when it was cool.  In September, I joined a gym and enjoyed focusing on some other areas of fitness.  I did work on my pace, but definitely never ran more than 2 miles at a time.  I did decide to start training for a marathon again, but I decided to follow a different training schedule than the last time.


Winter came.  We got sick.  I had an injury.  Weather shut down the city.  I took that awful medication.  Every week it was something new and I lost 6-7 training weeks.  Not to mention, secretly I was hoping to be pregnant.  My running slipped down to once a week at best, but really almost down to nothing.  It got to the point that I almost couldn't believe that I had actually ran a marathon.

Now I am training for a half marathon (only because there are no good marathons coming up in my locale).  I also don't have time to spare.  With nice weather, I hit the streets again, but this time oh it was SO hard again.  Even harder than when I first started running.  I didn't have Husband to be my support and help me get through the hard beginning part when I am so mentally weak that I don't even want to go a half mile without quitting.

Sorry, I just realized how long this is and I am just now getting to the analogy.

SO, last Saturday I was running.  I currently run a 1.5 mile loop in my neighborhood.  I was doing 3 laps or 4.5 miles.  The first time I passed my house Husband was inside.  I kept running a little sad that he wasn't outside, but I hadn't asked for it.  The second time I passed my house, he was outside with Daughter!  As I approached the house I yelled out "Water".  Husband quickly ran inside and got a cup of water that I could sip out of (like a race, what service!)

As I ran that last lap this thought just came into my head:

If getting back into running is like returning to Church activity again, then I am NEVER going to allow myself to go "in-active" ever.

It must be so hard to start going again, when everything hurts (maybe due to past sins or just feelings of inadequacy).   I don't know what it feels like, but WOW if it is anything like running then it is really hard.  I felt so burdened by every ounce of shoe that I had to lift these past few weeks.

I reflected on how much harder it was to run alone than when we first started in October 2009.  We were weak together and then became stronger together.  I had tried running a few months earlier in May 2009 with a neighbor, but she was so much faster than me that it was a mismatch that wasn't successful.  I couldn't make myself instantly capable of her pace, and she didn't slow down for me so it just didn't last long.

I reflected on how much EASIER it was when I passed my house and Husband and Daughter were out there waiting for me.  They would wave from a distance to greet me.  They would stop whatever they were doing and meet me at the curb.  They would yell encouraging words.  They might even run a short distance with me.  Even though this lasted only a few seconds out of my total running time it was so welcome.

I also realized that when I yelled out "Husband, water!!!"  it was really saying "Help me.  I can't do this alone. I trust that you want to help me, so therefore I am going to ask for the help, because I recognize that reaching out will have some benefit to me."

During that last lap, names came to my mind.  Who was yelling out at me?  Was I recognizing the calls for help?  These aren't just from those who are inactive, but from people like me (who aren't inactive, but who have "gaps" that can drag them down).  Was I responding as Husband did immediately doing all that I could to offer aid? or was I "running faster" than others making myself inaccessible and not in a position to respond to their cries for help?

"Help me.  I can't do this alone.  I trust that you want to help me.  I have stopped attending church and have been missing out on blessings.  I have allowed my testimony to become weak.  I don't know where to start and everyone seems to be so much further than I am.  I feel like I don't have a place.  I am putting my feelers out because I am too insecure to jump back into full activity.  Please, will you reach back out to me and help me?  I really do want to come to Church, it is just so hard to do with no encouragement."

I had a happy ending.  Husband was watching for me.  He didn't know of my need, but took care of it as soon as he did.  Now if he hadn't been successful in getting me some water, then I would have been put out and unwilling to rely on his aid in the future.

Are we actively watching for those who need rescuing?  They can't just instantly make themselves have strong testimonies again.  They need patience as they build line upon line, precept upon precept.  There has been a lot of talk about rescuing those who have fallen away.  It is often said that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is about people, not programs.  We have many programs that have been put into place to help us, but they are not the main focus of the Church.  We want people to come to Jesus Christ and understand their place in the Plan of Happiness that they are children of God.

President Monson's biography is called "To the Rescue" (someone please loan me their copy).  He is so good at actively watching for those who need to be rescued.  Of course he has spoken about it many times.  It seems that every talk of his is all about reaching out to people.

I am sorry if you don't like my running analogies, but I have learned so much from running.

Tired, but joyful to share,


Debbie said…
I loved this. Thank you!!! And you can borrow my copy . . . fantastic book!!! :)

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