I’ve recently taken up running. I’ve always liked the idea of being a runner but I never took the risk to be a runner until a few months ago. If you had told me a year ago that I’d be running four miles and enjoying it, I would have backed slowly away from you and your craziness. Someone recently told me that if you enjoy running and you have the need to run then you are a runner. These things have come true for me and although I may not run fast or run far, I am a runner.
I’ve noticed that nearly every time I run there is a point about halfway through where I want to quit. For a variety of reasons, I just want to stop and walk. I think some people enjoy that moment and they get adrenaline from the challenge and push on through. I don’t know if it is just the joy of the struggle or the rush of conquering weakness but they speed up and run straight into the storm. For me, that isn’t the case. Maybe it will be one day but right now, I don’t get a charge from pushing through the moment. The only thing that keeps me going is a picture in my mind of why I’m doing this. Why the struggle is worth it; the dreams that are becoming a reality. When I started the whole journey of getting healthy again, the first thing I did was make an inspiration board of pictures and words and quotes. It hangs on my bedroom wall and when I run on the treadmill it is directly in front of me. Those images and thoughts are my coach. I look to them to help me push through, to remind me why the struggle is worth it. It isn’t the thrill of the struggle. It is the desire for something greater that makes the struggle worth it.
I think the same is true for me regarding dating relationships. Like running, I don’t have a lot of experience in this area. I’ve never been one to just date. Ever. I can count on one hand guys that I’ve liked and been in a relationship with and still have a couple of fingers left over. I know some people simply enjoy dating and I think that is awesome. They have so many stories to tell from those adventures. But my heart isn’t built that way. I don’t love half-heartedly and each time it has been broken, I’ve picked up the pieces and slowly put them back together again. Then, I buried it behind a sophisticated system of doors and walls, more intricate after each encounter. And then it became “that-which-shall-not-be-named”.
I’ve always liked the idea of being in a relationship but I’ve been avoiding the risk for quite awhile. If you had told me a year ago that I would give permission to a friend to introduce me to a friend, I would have backed slowly away from you and your craziness. Like running, there is some excitement at the idea of being something I’ve always dreamt of being but I quickly run into the wall where I want to quit, to resend my offer, to just stay locked away. Fear is a powerful thing and I don’t feel the urge to run straight into it out of the sure desire to conquer fear. The only thing that keeps me from pulling the plug on this is a picture in my mind of why I’m doing this. Why the struggle is worth it; the dream that might become a reality. I don’t have an inspiration board on my bedroom wall for this endeavor but I do have a playlist of songs that remind me where I’ve been in love and where I want to go in love to remind me why the struggle is worth it. It isn’t the thrill of the struggle. It is the desire for something greater that makes the struggle worth it.
What are you tempted to quit on? What makes you want to stop running? What will make the struggle worth it? If you can keep that dream in your mind and heart, perhaps it will give you the courage you need to keep running no matter the struggles. I’d love to pray for your journey if you feel like commenting or emailing.