Reason # 2 billion and 5 why running is simply the best: clarity. For some strange reason whenever I run, I gain this supernatural ability to suddenly grasp a deeper understanding of what’s going on in this crazy life I call mine.
As I mentioned in a prior post this week, I’ve been struggling to be okay with how the marathon turned out last week. I mean, it wasn’t a bad race. It was a full marathon that I did complete for pete’s sake!
At first, I thought my frustration stemmed from the fact that I didn’t meet my time goal, but I’m simply not that competitive of a person to allow something as trivial as a number upset me.
Then I was thinking that perhaps I was sad that I didn’t get to run the back half of the race with my training buddies. I had spent all semester training with these friends, and although it did hurt to not be able to run the brunt of the route with them, that wasn’t the root of my confusion.
I did have the opportunity to meet with my therapist earlier this week. She is so good at what she does, and never tires of listening to my pathetic rantings. She has been working very hard with me in effort to get me to have better control of my thoughts. She’s equipped me with a fully-stocked arsenal of negative-thought combat weapons, and honestly, it’s been working. My main takeaway from this session was when she told me,
Comparison is the thief of joy.
I had a couple days to chew that over. In the end, I honestly don’t think I was comparing myself, my finishing time, the marathon itself, to anyone or anything. Although that was a great and useful quote from my therapist, I still wasn’t satisfied.
I had the opportunity to go on a run with two of my close friends this afternoon. We had planned on a short 40-minute jog just to stretch our legs and remove ourselves from the stress of finals.
We started out the run, which ended up being very bittersweet. So many of my dear friends are graduating next weekend, and although I’m so excited to see where life takes them, it’s sad to see them go. These ladies I got to run with today competed in the half marathon the same day as the marathon.
One of the girls asked me about my race. I hate sounding ungrateful and cocky when responding that it just wasn’t a good day, so I just gave them details. When I got to the mile 12 part where Josh started biking with me, they both got all goosey and told me I needed to marry him (which I would not be opposed to!)
I explained a little more of the race, and then one of the girls said, “So it sounded like an awesome run!” The other girl chimed in, “Yeah, you really got to see Josh’s true colors and learn more about his character.”
Well that changes things. What if I saw the race in that light? Instead of measuring the success by the time listed next to my name, or even the people I finished with, what if I measured it by how incredibly thankful I am for Josh. He 100% did not have to bike 30 miles that morning, nor did he have to spend all the time he did mapping out the best route for him and my parents to take marathon morning. He didn’t have to see me as many times as he did. He didn’t have to bike next to me and pull me out of the pit of self-deprecation. He didn’t have to work to distract me by telling me stories and talking with me. He did it all because he loves me.
That paradigm shift totally shattered all the negativity that previously surrounded that day.
God’s timing is an overwhelmingly confusing concept that as humans, we’ll never grasp. What I learned from this situation is that I just need to chill and let God do His thing. His goals are sometimes vastly different than my own (even though it’d be ideal if they’d line up more often!) Clearly He had something in mind other than the marathon. He just used the marathon as an avenue to allow Josh to love me in a different way than he’s ever loved me before. He also gave me the opportunity to accept that love. Often I’m not the best at accepting the love that is given to me, but God used that marathon in way more ways than I ever thought possible.