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stronger : race training

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we talk a lot here about being brave.  about boldly designing our lives and getting free from the things that hold us back.  unhindered.  many of those hinders are emotional, psychological and many are physical.  to me, finding my strength in any area of life will always be connected to my physical body.  work.  sweat.  determination.  pushing myself harder and further than i thought possible.

most everyone who knows me now sees me as a very fit and active person.  but i wasn’t always that way.  growing up i was not an athlete.  i was the girl on the sidelines in the short skirt and pom pons, cheering, dancing and kicking.  run a mile?  never.  get out on a bike or lace up my running shoes with no one by my side to keep me company or distract me from the voices in my head?  not a chance.  i hated being alone.  just the thought made me anxious.  lonely.  insecure.

but life happened.  love happened.  divorce, heartbreak, and rebirth happened.  quite unintentionally, i found my therapy in the silence linked to the rhythm of footfalls on pavement, heartbeat, and breath.  a half mile turned into five, which turned into ten.  i remember taking my car to drive the route i had just run.  astonished that i had just ran ten miles i went back to the broken down football house that i called home and signed up to run my first marathon with team in training.  a marathon.  a goal so far beyond my wildest imagining or ability.  but it wasn’t just a race for which i was training.  i was fighting for my life.  to pull myself up out of the darkness, the tangled web of loneliness, heartbreak and failure.  starting my life over again.  on my own.  again.  rebuilding my identity, my confidence, my faith.

it’s all a race.  and many of you are runners, like me.  dreamers, like me.

and so many times we believe the lies.  we think we can’t do it.  can’t run our race.  a 5k, 10k, a marathon.  we believe we couldn’t possibly complete a century ride or climb a mountain.  that’s what i thought too.  but you’re wrong.  you can race.  you are stronger than you think.  i ran that marathon.  and another.  and more…  i started triathlons.  sprint distance, olympic.  an ironman.  seemingly impossible goals for this once cheerleader girl.  i mean it.  impossible.  made possible.  one step at a time.

i tell you this not to brag.  not to show you what i can do, but to inspire you to what you can do.  do not be afraid.  do not sell yourself short.

there are so many ways to be bold.  to be brave.  in the race of life or a run, much of the process is being consistent and persistent.  determined.  pushing through when the miles get tough.  because we will face tough miles.  we will ‘hit the wall.’  those miles you want to give in, walk, throw in the towel and walk off the course.  but that is where we dig in and find our strength.  find our tough.  it’s when we realize we are stronger than we ever imagined.  that we can do far more than we believe.

set a goal.  begin.  and finish well.  through thousands of miles and races too numerous to count, i have finished strong.  stronger than i ever knew possible.  not because i’m special.  not because i shattered records.  not because i have something you don’t.  i finished strong because i simply decided to start.  and i didn’t give up.  because i dug in when the miles got tough and kept on going.  pushing through the grip of pain and exhaustion to the strength that lies in the places we don’t even know exist.  strength gained from each failure in my past.  each lesson learned through hardship or trial.  grit formed in the sheer process of determination and dedication.  the whispered lies i chose to ignore.  the ones i fought back with truth.  the personal accomplishment of doing something i never believed i could.


it is in you.  i promise.  find it.  find your race.  find your strong.  do not be afraid.  and don’t let anyone hold you back.


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{ 4 comments… add one }
  • Kim April 24, 2013, 6:04 pm

    Beautifully written….and a huge AMEN!!

  • Rychelle April 24, 2013, 7:13 pm

    your ‘feet on the pavement’ faith is extraordinary. a battle so gravely deliberate it sends chills down my spine and infuses hope as it rises back up. you. beloved one. are my hope in sight. Thanks for inviting me to see intimately what an unhindered life is…the fight. the grit. the pressing into. the agony. turned into victory! this shedding off. laying aside. throwing off hinderance. step by step you have entered into a gorgeous freedom. Thanks for allowing me to witness how your ‘feet on the pavement’ has manifested into a greater belief. faith. and richness in life. His abundance. your inheritance. my inheritance. I love you so… I love you so..

    • Tammy April 27, 2013, 3:33 pm

      mmmmm….love you so sweet friend. a constant deliberate decision. some days unhindered and free, others wrapped in the confusion and chaos of life. so blessed to walk the journey with you.

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