Running takes endurance. Whether you are running a mile, a 5K, a marathon, or an ultra, you need endurance to finish. A definition I came across really speaks to me:
Endurance – the struggle to continue against a mounting effort to stop.” Alex Hutchinson
My friends and family wonder at the races I run and tell me I am just Ah-Mazing! What they don’t realize is that at times during the race I want to quit. I have self doubt, I think to myself why in the world did I sign up for this? I think there is no way I can go on. And then somehow I find a way to continue, to endure.
Combatting the negative thoughts and feelings is major part of racing. The adage running is 90% mental has much truth to it. Our body is capable of more than we think. Getting ourselves to believe that is the trick.
Feelings lie. Emotions cloud judgment. Like heavy fog, you can’t see clearly and you are incapable of logical and rational thought and action. It’s important to move past this as quickly as possible or you get stuck in the mud and with every step your feet get heavier and more weighed down. You believe what is not true and defeat yourself. This is true in a race and true in life.
One of my favorite verses tells us how to live in the truth and not our feelings.
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us lay off every weight and the sin that so easily entangles us. Let us run with endurance the race that lies before us. Hebrews 12:1
When we let fear and doubt dictate our thinking we cannot endure. It weighs us down and tangles us up. In a race, this means not running to your potential or even quitting. In life, the consequences are more severe. Stress happens. The unexpected phone call, the devastating diagnosis, the loss of a job, the end of a relationship, things beyond our control happen. How can we endure, how can we press on?
Fight the doubts, throw off the weight of insecurity. Trust. In a race you trust your training – you put the time in, you put the effort in, you don’t let moments of doubt and fatigue dictate your outcome. In life, you trust your training as well; your discipline in prayer and reading the Bible. This is where it counts, when life is not all butterflies and pizza. Sometimes life just sucks. Keep running. It won’t always be this bad. Keep running. You don’t know what other good lies ahead. Keep running. There is a rainbow after the storm.