I am not what you would call an athletic person. In fact, I’m probably as far on the inept side of the athletic spectrum as one can be. I have broken my foot, my wrist, multiple toes and fingers, severely sprained my ankle and NONE of these occurred during an athletic event. I am a bona fide certified clutz.
It isn’t because I haven’t tried, though. My poor athletic father tried desperately to get one of his five daughters into sports. We tried basketball, track and field, even cross country, but I just never excelled. I have always loved to work out, though, so I stayed in pretty good shape until college and babies took their toll. Finally, when I had my fourth baby I decided enough was enough. My almost-30 body wasn’t bouncing back from junk food binges and late nights out, and I felt miserable.
I got a gym membership, started attending classes and started to look and feel better than I had in years. Still, I was one of those people who walked on a treadmill and believed running was for athletes. Then, in 2010, I decided I didn’t want to live my life saying, “I just can’t do that.” I wanted to live an adventure, and adventure meant trying new things, taking risks and generally getting used to some discomfort. I set out with the goal of running a 5K.
And I fell in love with running.
Now, most people would call what I do jogging, but I disagree. I may be slower than 90% of the planet, but when I run I am pushing my limits to the max. I do sprint intervals. I race myself. I push my distance so I feel stretched. And I do it because running is like purging my body, soul and mind of everything weighing it down. There is a quote in the Bible where Paul says, “I beat my body and make it my slave,” and that is exactly what I am thinking the entire time I run.
One more step.
One more block.
Sprint for 20 more seconds.
Make your body do what it thinks it can’t.
Because here is what I’ve found: if I don’t beat my body and train it to obey me, it will lead me. And it will lead me places I don’t want to go: into excess, imbalance, lethargy and comfort-addiction. That feeds into every area of my life, and I don’t want to live that way.
So give me your tips. How are you living the adventure?
How do you push yourself to be more than you were yesterday?
What do you do to make your body your slave so you finish well?