A runner’s heart

You know you care deeply about something when your heart breaks over it. Nothing is more painful than standing in the chute of a race that you were supposed to finish. Watching runners cross the finish, the finish that you should be crossing.

With each runner passing by, my heart broke more and more inside. I was excited for them, I truly was. But the other half of my heart was pissed at the fact that I wasn’t right there with them.

The conference meet is the most important race the season. I had high hopes of being in the top 7 for the team. It was a goal that was not going to be easy, but I don’t believe in limits. I believe that limits are something we put on ourselves. So, I decided to go for it. For an athlete who was physically incapable of running this summer, I came close to my goal. I was ranked either 8th or 9th on the team by the time my season abruptly ended. My running shoes have not seen my feet for the past two months.

It just about killed me the moment I was told that I couldn’t finish my cross country season due to my health. I hate being told I can’t do something. It was out of my control. Giving up control is a sucky lesson to learn. For anyone who knows me, they know that running is a huge part of my life. Through running, I’ve been challenged not only physically but spiritually as well. I’ve learned about God through it. Had it not been for running, I don’t know where I’d be in my relationship with God. It has made a huge impact.

Being forced to take a break at this time in my life was the last thing I needed. My heart was broken, I was in the midst of figuring out my plans for next semester, I was struggling with anxiety and wanted to just give up on everything all together. At this point, running was the only thing I had going for me. It was the one thing in my day that I would wake up and look forward to. It seemed like everything I was holding on to was falling to pieces and the last thing to let go of was running. I didn’t realize how much running meant to me until I couldn’t do it anymore. My time was spent resting while my teammates had practice. I hated seeing the clock turn to 4:00 pm. When I should be going to practice, instead I was laying around doing what I was forced to do. Nothing. There was so much time in the day, and so much I couldn’t do.

I’ve never experienced this kind of pain. Swallowing was so painful I couldn’t even do it, stairs were a struggle, and I couldn’t even wear jeans because it hurt so badly. God really broke me down this semester. Every aspect of my life has been invaded and shaken. Because of running being taken away, I’ve never had so much free time on my hands. With this free time I’ve been able to learn how to focus on God. It has been a blessing to be able to take this time and reflect on things. This has been a time in my life where I have been able to truly be still and know that He is God.

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3 thoughts on “A runner’s heart

  1. My heart went out to you reading this. It’s so hard to sit on the sidelines when you love to do something.

    I’ve been a distance runner for awhile now, and was forced to sit out a year and a half back after a bad bone spur and multiple blood clots took me out for over 6 months. One day I was training for a huge race, and suddenly I literally couldn’t run and that was that until time, healing, and treatment took it’s course.

    I feel your words, it breaks your heart not to do what you love. But somewhere during all that rest and intentional sitting I learned to take slow walks, peacefully sit on a park bench and stare at the sun, started my blog/started writing more, and made a lot of art. Taking time off running created new space and ways to look at life I never would have considered before.

    It was a joy to return to it when my body healed, but I am grateful for the gifts that came with the interruption. I hope you return to what you love soon, and in the meantime it sounds like you are learning beautiful lessons about faith and life. 🙂

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