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the humility of defeat

the humility of defeat

so it’s true. today is the day i should be boarding a plane headed to sunny sacramento. to run a marathon, chasing down a decade-old dream to qualify for the boston marathon. a dream that has eluded me all these years.

and still.

my head keeps telling i can push through and run this race, but my body just won’t teach. it can’t overcome the nagging injury and fatigue that screams out for healing while i keep pounding out the miles. pushing up the speed intervals on the treadmill.

the truth is, i’m not ready.

and to be completely honest it’s been the hardest marathon training i’ve done. starting out with an injury and not enough time, i pushed my body to speeds i’ve never run and increased mileage as never before. i set individual goals for every run: i need to finish in this time. i need to run at this pace.

time. time. time. never enough time.

my goal was not to run a marathon – i know i can do that. my goal was to finish under 3 hours and 35 minutes. and that, i cannot do.

not this weekend. not yet.

i’ve agonized over the decision not to go because i can honestly say that i have never committed to something that i didn’t follow through. whether a race or in life, when i commit – i’m all in. so pulling out like this is about killing me. and if it were totally up to me, my pride would step in and i would run this race because i can.

but it’s not about a race. and because i have worked so hard and faced so many obstacles and failures this time, i’m convinced that God is interested in carving out something in me far more powerful than my selfish pride. 

i think it’s humility.

humility to say i cannot yet achieve the goal i set for myself. and the deeper humility to admit that to you.

as someone who perseveres to reach the goals i set for myself — and then to admit that i’ve failed to all of you — is humbling. in fact, tears are streaming down my face as i type these words. because i take commitments so seriously, in some ways all i see is failure. and yet something in my heart tells me that you needed me to say it’s okay. that sometimes saying “i can’t” isn’t saying “i won’t.” it’s just saying i’m not ready yet.

maybe you’re feeling like you’re failing in some way too?

and i think it’s also patience.

this isn’t the end of my boston journey. no way. i’m not giving up on this long awaited dream, and i will never give in. i will try again. and i believe that someday God will have me run down the streets of boston and it will be such sweet victory. it will be the culmination of a lifetime of determination and dedication. and many failures.

some dreams take longer than we expect and require so much more than our own strength. some lessons can only be learned in the failures, the shortcomings and the humility of defeat. so that when we rise again and reach those high accomplishments we know the cost. we can count the cost and know that the carving out is what made the journey worth it.

because in the end it was never about a race. this life is so much more than a race. what matters is that we learn the lessons. so often He speaks to me through the rhythm of footfalls on pavement. where does He speak to you?

thank you. thank you for encouraging me. thank you for cheering me on through my training posts on my facebook page and your sweet messages and notes of encouragement! each of your voices has been powerful inspiration to me and i truly, truly thank you for being a part of this community. for being people who shine lights into my life. a place where we inspire, encourage and embolden one another to reach for dreams far beyond our grasp so that we can experience what it truly means to grow. never stop. never, ever stop.

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{ 4 comments… add one }
  • Krista December 6, 2013, 6:40 am

    You are so much better for the journey…. and so are we. There is always purpose with God – nothing wasted – not ever! What drives us to our knees is a redeemed road.

    • Tammy December 6, 2013, 4:39 pm

      amen my sweet sister. thankful to walk this journey shoulder to shoulder with YOU! nothing wasted, not ever! xoxo

  • Alexis Girvan December 7, 2013, 5:15 pm

    The raw realness of your heart is such a gift to your readers lady – THank you for sharing it. Know that I’m hearing your heart and praying spirit-bursting encouragement to come your way… even today. I can’t help but believe this season of seeming ‘defeat’ to be so purposeful for you. You, being IN the pain of it all, not placating yourself through it but crying out honestly in the midst…. allowing Jesus the sweet space He needs to come and be with and love on you in ways you’d honestly couldn’t have prayed for. I’m believing that for you… and having faith NOW for when it all comes to be, and your running those Boston streets in the Lords perfect time, you’ll have capacity to look back and know the sensational snippets of truth that could only have been revealed through such timing as this. God is doing so much in and through and because of your life. :)) I am consistently inspired… !

    • Tammy December 7, 2013, 10:08 pm

      oooooh alexis, such generous words to my spirit. thank you!!! thank you for your prayers and your faith in the process i am going through. there is such sweetness in the midst of our failures. someday…”when i’m running the streets of boston”, i will also think back to this sweet message from you. guaranteed. thank you for your encouragement and sweet kindness to me. {{hugs}} xoxo

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