Pony Express 5k

Pony Express 5k
My first race ever!

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Why did I do this?

Last night I kept asking myself that question. Why? What purpose does it serve. I was quite certain several times yesterday that it served no purpose. My rear end isn't meant to sit on a four inch wide platform for 7 1/2 hours, is it? Why do I want to run a marathon? Why do I want to do the Ironman in Kona? Everything I want to do just means more and more torture for my body.

So why? Bodies aren't meant to endure this! Or are they?

My ancestors were pioneers who crossed the plains, walking every day for miles and miles over rugged terrain, forging rivers, enduring harsh winter and blistering summer weather. Many died from the hardship. Then when they arrived, they spent the rest of their lives laboring all day to raise crops, care for cattle and sheep, just cooking and cleaning meant hard work from morning to night.

Soldiers in past have marched all day, slept on the ground, fought throughout the night. Existing without sleep, little food and away from their loved ones for months or even years to secure safety for their countrymen.

Our country was founded by those who lived harsh lives, building a new nation out of raw country. Their bodies endured conditions unthinkable to our modern way of life. After long and difficult voyages, they didn't have family waiting for them, they had rugged wilderness, had to build homes, forts and plant crops just to exist. There was no alternative.

So I ask again, Are our bodies meant to endure harsh physical conditions? My answer has to be yes. Our bodies are meant to struggle through hardship and come out stronger. I believe that God created us to survive whatever challenges come our way.

The problem is, we don't have to fight through physical challenges for our daily life. Our lives are cushy and undemanding. To grow, we have to create hardship. Endurance racing is how I've chosen to push myself. I was afraid to try, but each time I do something new, I discover new abilities my body has developed. Through this journey I have also found other changes. I have found a new peace. A new patience with life. New relationships with my husband and children. Time with others free of outside noise.

I think every part of our lives is that way. Not just the physical, but the emotional, mental and spiritual. Do we challenge ourselves to reach out to other people, build bridges of love and support? Do we force ourselves outside of our comfort zone, and learn something new? Do we build our faith and trust in our Heavenly Father? Or do we live in fear of change and growth.

One of the speakers at Andrew's graduation used a favorite quote of mine.

Our Greatest Fear
Marianne Williamson

Our greatest fear is not that we are inadequate,
but that we are powerful beyond measure.

It is our light, not our darkness, that frightens us.
We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant,
gorgeous, handsome, talented and fabulous?

Actually, who are you not to be?
You are a child of God.

Your playing small does not serve the world.
There is nothing enlightened about shrinking
so that other people won't feel insecure around you.

We were born to make manifest the glory of God within us.
It is not just in some; it is in everyone.

And, as we let our own light shine, we consciously give
other people permission to do the same.
As we are liberated from our fear,
our presence automatically liberates others.

It is easy to exist, it's easy to stay where we are and live in our comfort zone. It is hard to change, in change we risk failure. We risk being ridiculed. We risk pain. But in staying where we are, we guarantee failure. Failure at our true purpose. We guarantee pain, pain of wondering what we could have been, could have done. We guarantee mediocrity.

Take a step outside your box, be something more, something different. For me I choose to risk failure, ridicule and pain in order to find success, accomplishment and joy. Come with me.

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