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Saturday, July 26, 2008

Today I did something I never, (and I don't use that word lightly) thought I could. I ran three miles. Now to the average person, that might seem like a "nice" accomplishment. However, to someone as completely un-athletic as me, it's almost miraculous.

I've never (and again I chose that word specifically) have accomplished anything athletic. I tried out for numerous sports teams during my school, always at the encouragement of a friend, and never made one team. I got hit on the head with the ball trying out for girl's softball. Didn't make the team. Was one of the tallest girls in school. Didn't make the girl's basketball team. And so on.

When I see a "beginner" class of anything, I know it will be a step above my skill level. Someday I'll tell you about my beginning step aerobic adventure. Uh ... let's just say it wasn't pretty.

My husband is completely aware of my lack of athletic skill. He was there at the infamous softball-hitting-my-head tryouts and still married me. But somehow, he has had this idea that I can run a half marathon some day. I think he's crazy, but it's kind of cute.

So he made me a training schedule (read about our vacations and you'll know he's big on schedules) which includes running and a tough cardio circuit class. He also took me to the Runner Den, where they diagnosed my "running" (such as it is) style and recommended a certain type of shoe. What a difference that makes - my shins and knees don't hurt any more.

When I first started running I could not make it from one light pole to another without thinking my head was going to explode. I just couldn't do it. Every time I'd try and stop panting, the self-defeating thoughts were unbelievable. I won't bore you, but imagine every negative thing you can think about yourself, and I thought it. (No - don't think them because I don't want you going there) Actually, I still think those thoughts - but I just tell them to be quiet and keep going.

This week someone sent me a link to a video on GodTube about this father and son triathlon team: Team Hoyt. I've heard of this family before, but watching this video really inspired me. Click here to watch it. I was especially touched by the ending, and the one word that it typed on the computer: can.

I have filled my head and heart with too many "I can'ts" in my life. What a great reminder that I can ... but I'm going to need help. In spite of knowing the God of the Universe is on my side, and that He is always working on my behalf, I fall into the trap of thinking it's all up to me. When that faulty thinking starts, I neglect to accept the hand of help that God is holding out to me. What a shame to have missed that.

God knew exactly what He was doing when He designed me. That's why I've got a nice round seat to sit on when I'm working at the computer. (grin) But He certainly didn't intend for me to put so many limitations on myself that He never intended to be there.

Three miles is a far cry from 13. But it's closer than I was last year.

So, although my progress is muuucccchhh slower than an athletically-included person, I guess I'll keep going.

What "I can'ts" have you told yourself? Is it time to start thinking "I can"?



Joyful said...

Glynnis, you are infusing me with hope! As I wrote on both Lysa and Renee's blogs yesterday, I don't have an atheletic bone in my body! I am so uncoordinated and I despise the word "gym". As I child, I too was never chosen for any sports teams. Even when gym class "forced" me to be on a team, the enthusiasm of the gal choosing the players faded when she'd finally, at last say, "Well...I'll take Joy".

Yesterday I decided I could at least get back to my elliptical in the privacy of my own home, and I "ran" 2 km. I know that's not much, but I felt so good afterwards.

Sometimes my "I can'ts" are founded on fear of embarassment. I could do it - but what would other people say or think when they see my poor, meager attempt. Have to get past that "people pleasing" mentality. And, as you've reminded me here: I Can!


Patti VZ said...

I'm right there with you Glynnis and Joy! I was the same way in school, last one "chosen" for anything sports related. My brother tried to teach me tennis but gave up saying I was hopelessly uncoordinated.

I'm not running any marathons, but I have taken to the treadmill - and haven't even fallen off yet! I'll just keep running the race (of faith of course) with our mutual brother, Paul, and meet the rest of our team in heaven.

Kay Martin said...

Yes, I CAN...how I needed this today. In my new life as widow I am facing responsibilities that my first response is "I can't...." but in Him step by step "we" can.

I am beginning again on commiting to be a good steward with my body. I'll hold your image in my mind when sweat rolls off and breath is short...."I can."

Good post

Anonymous said...

Hi Glynnis,
Be encouraged. I was never very athletic but married a runner who has placed several times in 5k's, 10k's and a few marathons. A few years ago he encouraged me to start running. I walked, ran, walked, ran...until finally I was running three miles at a time like you are. Then I entered a half marathon and began training. Having a goal is very motivating. Telling people you are going to do it is even more motivating!I did it! If I can, anyone can. Go for it! You will even start to feel like an athlete--I promise! Completing the 13.1 miles gives you the gift of physical and mental accomplishment.

Julie Gillies said...

What an inspiring post, Glynnis. Just what I needed to hear today.


Jerralea said...

Oh man, wish I hadn't read this! :)

I thought I was the most unathletic person on the planet, so at least I see that I am not alone. The idea of running has been coming to my mind a lot, but so far I've managed to medicate it with M&M's ...

Seriously, thanks for sharing.

Celly B said...

Here is another athletically-challenged person thanking you for this post. It has definitely shown me that I have limited myself with so me "I can'ts." Thanks for inspiring me with "I can!"

Chatty Kelly said...

I can't even imagine running that far! Walking 3 miles is my big athletic accomplishment. Congrats. That is awesome.

Bonita said...

Hmmm...interesting. I just read two blogs in a row that talked about running half marathons! Uh...surely God isn't wanting that of me, right?!!

I know exactly how you feel about the non-athletic stuff. That's me. Only when you're saying you ran three miles I'm thinking to myself, "I wish I could run three yards." Honestly, to run a mile would be a great big accomplishment for me.

I'm not going to jump on the running bandwagon just because it seems to be the trend at the moment on the blogs I read. However, I will pray about it and see if God has something in mind. That makes me a trifle nervous!

One big "I can" happened this week for me. I decorated my bedroom. I've always considered myself to be domestically challenged and decorating has always fallen in the same category as athletics. But this week I actually made my master bedroom look beautiful and I love it! It's my favorite room of the house now and so peaceful that I feel like I'm sitting in the Holy of Holies.

Amy L Brooke said...

So is absolutely everyone running? My goodness, I'm going to have to check out Proverbs 31 to see about a running verse!

I tried last summer. I almost made a mile then my friend moved and my running moved with her. Could try again, I'm just not motivated by myself. Sigh.

Good for you!