I’m sure some of you have seen those t-shirts that say “Running Sucks.” on them and you better believe I own one of those t-shirts. While I originally bought it as a joke, there are definitely days that I wear it because it’s true. Yesterday was one of those days. Actually, the past few weeks have been one of those days. Each day has been a struggle. Workouts suck, easy days suck, and trying to train when you can’t remember the last time you had a good day just flat out sucks. Before I continue on, I promise that things get more happy and less depressing.
I can name off probably about 4 or 5 different reasons why training hasn’t been going as well as I would like it to, but after taking a 4-hour nap yesterday I woke up convinced that my iron is low yet again…which would explain a lot…and my mom, being the loving and caring woman that she is, responded ever-so compassionately with “well….DUH!” Thanks mom, I love you too.
Iron deficiency is something that I am all too familiar with, and you would think I would have it all figured out by now, but apparently I don’t. Fortunately, it is fixable with a little rest and lots of steak and spinach and liquid iron! I have battled iron deficiency all throughout my running career and while I am pretty much an expert in all things iron related, I can’t seem to completely figure out how to keep my body full of iron.
It’s times like this that I truly feel like God is trying to teach me something. I’ve decided that whenever God needs to get my attention, he takes running away. Whenever running becomes a priority over him, he steps in and says “Nope, that ain’t gonna happen.” (I’m sure he has much better grammar, but that’s just how I picture him saying it.)
I am a person of control. I like to be in control and if I’m not it makes me very uncomfortable. So the whole business of giving up control of your life to God doesn’t always sit well with me. I know it’s what I need to do and I know that life would be a whole lot easier if I could just hand things over to him and let him be in control of it, but I just can’t seem to fully do that. When it comes to God, I have unnecessarily engaged myself in a game of tug-o-war with him and 10 times out of 10 it results in me losing. Now, I am a competitive person and I hate losing, so you would think that I would have figured this out by now, but I am also a stubborn person so I haven’t and keep thinking that MAYBE 1 day I will win this tug-o-war. (Let’s face it, I should just get over it and realized that that’s never going to happen.)
As of right now you can put another tally in the win column for God. I have again lost the tug-o-war and realize that over the past few months I have taken back control of my running from God. I have been trying to force the runs everyday, I have been trying to will myself to better split times and frankly that just isn’t working. Running has become an activity completely separated from God…I have eliminated him from having any part in it. And I finally realize that it’s time to take a step back, stop worrying, stop analyzing, and stop over-thinking. A few bad days and a few bad races doesn’t mean I suck, it’s just God’s little reminder to me that I’m not in control.
And for that I am thankful. I’m thankful that the all-knowing, all-powerful, all-merciful God cares enough about me to say, “Chill out, girlfriend, I got this.” (Yes, the God I envision is quite hip, and doesn’t always speak formally.) I’m thankful that I am important enough to him that He takes an interest in my everyday life. I am thankful for the people He has put in my life to remind me who He is and who support me despite my stubbornness.
I know that when running isn’t going well I’m not exactly the most fun person to be around and yet despite my grouchiness I have a support system who give me a shoulder to cry on and put up with my meltdowns; friends and family who go and dig my running shoes out of the trash when I throw them away in a momentary decision to give up on running forever.
So, despite the fact that running sucks right now, I am thankful; because through the suckiness I truly get to see the greatness and love of Christ in my life.
Happy Thanksgiving everyone! I am truly thankful for you.