I am not a runner.
But I run. And I mostly hate it, but I do it because it’s good for me. I’ve played sports for most of my life, but these past two years have been some of the few that I haven’t. At my school, sports are double-blocked classes, meaning two of my possible eight classes would be sports. Sadly, because I came to the school my junior year, all of my eight classes are filled up with things I need to take in order to graduate. Which means no sports, which means running.
During the summer and the first few weeks of school, I would run most of the two-mile loop in my neighborhood. Occasionally, I managed to make myself run the whole thing without stopping, but that was rare. And then, slowly, I started running less and less, until I was just walking in the neighborhood. Fast walking, but walking nonetheless.
In December, however, I signed up for two races: the Color Me Rad 5k (which was SO MUCH FUN!) and a Christmas 5k. The color one was just for fun with friends and we ended up walking for most of it, but my goal for the second one was to not stop running for all 3.1 miles. And I did it! It was exhausting and painful, but never once did my legs stop running and I was so proud of myself.
I started running around my neighborhood again and every single time, I ran the whole loop without stopping. I needed that 5k to prove to myself that my body could take it.
Running is still painful, but knowing that I’m fully able to do it makes it ten times easier. And when I’m on the last hill leading to my house, I just have to keep pushing and telling myself I can make it.
The past month, I’ve been reading 2 Corinthians and found a verse that I not only love, but think really applies to my running story. Chapter 4 verse 8 reads, “We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies…So we do not lose heart.”
I love this verse. It’s for fighters. It’s for perseverer. It’s for the exhausted. It’s for that last hill when you think you can’t go any further. This world will have troubles and hard things will come your way, but God will never let you be broken. Not only will you be stronger for overcoming the evils in this world, you’ll know the next time you face them, you can take it.