whitestone 2013Are You Who You Want To Be?

The Switchfoot song, This Is Your Life, came out just about the same time that I was doing some serious reevaluation of who I was and who I wasn’t and what I was going to do about it.

Life can consume us with our failures, our iniquities, and our sheer complacency. We look in the mirror and we may say to ourselves, “This isn’t the plan.” “This isn’t who you are.” but in only rare occasions do we take the steps to be something else.

I took up running a few years ago. It was how I stopped smoking for good. I trained for my first 26.2 mile race, the Covenant Health Knoxville Marathon. It taught me that even though I didn’t know what the end result would be, it was worth the hard work. Somewhere along the journey I became a runner. I didn’t just run out of obligation or weight loss or escape, it just became a part of me.

I often joke and call myself a Mid-Life Crisis Athlete. I wasn’t an athlete as a kid. I rarely exercised as a young adult. But, somewhere in the crisis of saying “Are you who you want to be?,” I became a runner. I want to run faster. I want to be strong. I want to place in my age group. And, I want to run the Boston Marathon.

The most interesting thing to me, is that being a runner affects my entire life. My schedule, my attitude, my hopes, my goals, my parenting, my marriage and my ministry. It teaches me about impossible things and I can do way more than I ever thought possible. When I look in the mirror, on the days failure overwhelms me, running has taught me that one bad day doesn’t destroy the whole but makes me stronger. The investment of my time in something is worth every moment to see the reality of hard work happen. I don’t rely so much on what others think of me, it turns out someone will always hate what you’re doing. And even though I call this journey mine, I have been blessed with many friends on this adventure. I can persevere longer, endure more, laugh louder because it has taught me it is all worth it. Life is meant to be lived fully.

Running has given me the confidence to pursue other things. To overcome a paralyzing fear of failure. I am a work in progress, but progress is the key. I’m moving forward. Am I Who I Want To Be? NO!! I have a long way to go. One day this mid-life crisis athlete will be known as a Boston Qualifier. One day this gal will write a book. One day I will ……… Lets just say that I am willing to put in the hard work to see where this life takes me.

So I Ask: Are You Who You Want To Be? What are you doing about it?