Friday, March 16, 2012

Pieces of the Puzzle

I guess my return to running like my old self is like a puzzle. I need to put the puzzle together one piece at a time. I am now consistently running my old schedule of Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday which is a definite positive step. While being consistent, I'm also working on building back my endurance and surprisingly that hasn't suffered as much as everything else. Last weekend, I was really only supposed to do 5, but I ran with a couple of friends and ended up running 7. I ran 8 several weekends ago, but the pace of this 7 was faster so I got a little tired near the end. All in all, it was great though. The best part is the next day I ran a very solid 4 with some of my fastest miles since the injury. My legs felt really good after the previous day's 7. Positives.

This kind of talk still shocks me. It's now been a little over 3 months since I was talking about 12 milers before work and checking off 45 mile weeks. Now I'm happy when I can run 7, or get 15 miles in a week. I've mentioned many times that this has been an ordeal, but it's also been an emotional roller coaster. Running has been a huge part of my life for 10 years and has been a part of many positive changes in me as well. It was suddenly completely stripped away from me. Not only was running stripped away, but being able to do any type of exercise was as well for a few weeks. I was very upset because I lost distance, pace, a marathon, running partners and you name it. It was some of the toughest emotions I had to battle over something so simple, and I felt alone.

2011 did not end on a high note and 2012 did not start on a high note. But I feel completely confident that 2012 will only get better from here. This year hasn't just been about the injury, there have been other difficult things going on in the rest of my life too. I took a step back and evaluated and thought about my roots. I grew up in church, and I actually didn't miss a Sunday until I was in the 9th grade. I became a Christian when I was 12. In college, I grew closer to Jesus than I had ever been in my life. I went to Him for everything. I had the strongest Christian friends, and it was all so amazing. I was able to spend 2 1/2 months one summer as a summer missionary in Montana, and I fully believe I grew up that summer. It changed my life. I have been able to participate in many mission trips and those can really take you to the highest spiritual mountaintop. Life, however, can bring you down so quickly. Since college and life in my 20's, I have had my ups and downs with my faith and my growth, as most Christians do. But it seems that I have had more valleys than mountaintops for the last 2-3 years. God never promised us that life would be easy and that just because we know Him, that wouldn't change. What He did promise us is that knowing Him would give us a place to go when things are good, bad, hectic, scary, and whatever else. He promised us love, joy, peace, comfort, and that He would always be there, we just have to go to Him. And He promised us heaven! As humans,we (me) tend to go to Him only when it's a tough time. And sometimes we (me) feel like we can handle it ourselves. Well we (I) can't.

I don't believe I have put running and exercise on a pedestal over other things in my life. In fact, I wasn't nearly as disciplined with my fitness as I could have been. So this injury wasn't to take away something I put over other things in my life, it was to bring me to my knees before Jesus to trust Him and only Him in all situations. Along with this injury, there were other things that changed in my life that took me to my knees. There has never been a moment in my life where I haven't been in church, prayed, and had a relationship with God. The problem has been that I haven't been consistent. There are periods when I am totally in tune with Him, then I try to take over control when things feel better. Each time, He brings me back to Him. Perhaps he really felt I needed a big jolt this time! It's just like the pieces of the puzzle I mentioned regarding running. There are pieces of the puzzle with our relationship with God too. They all have a purpose, and they all bring this peace to my life that is unexplainable. I'm going to keep working on this puzzle too.