I have found myself itching to write a blog over the past two months; however, each time I sat down to write, so much emotion flooded my heart that I simply couldn't put words to my emotions. It has taken some time to really digest all that I've been learning in this season, but I'm ready to share.
For those of you who know me well, this part will be redundant, but for those of you who don't know me well, part of why I love training for marathons is because of the process. I love the process of training. I love the struggle, the effort, the stubbornness, the fatigue, the confidence that is created. I love exceeding what I thought I was capable of. I love that when I run, I can't escape myself, my thoughts, my insecurities, my weaknesses, or the work it requires. I find myself as I run. I discover who I was created to be, and what I'm capable of accomplishing. I change every time I hit the payment. So naturally, I was concerned with what life would look like with the absence of running.
At the beginning, I experienced the mourning phase. Truly, it felt as though a part of my spirit died. I wasn't sure what to do with myself. I would burst into tear throughout the day. Even in my mourning, I committed to trying new activities. I dove (literally) into swimming, biking and strength training (upper body and core). I spent hours in the pool, with great friends. I went to various spin classes. I went to numerous races, and was a spectator (and a very loud cheer-er), and had a blast cheering those who could run!
I slowly realized I had been learning just as much about myself in the healing process, as I had been learning in the training process. "Training and racing have shown me sides of myself that I never knew existed. I've found perseverance, an ability to focus, stubbornness, compulsiveness, bravery, organization, a sense of humor, and a capacity for unbridled joy" (Gordon Bakoulis Bloch). This next statement will only make sense if you are a runner: It takes just as much perseverance, focus, stubbornness, compulsiveness, and bravery to wake up in the morning and NOT run. I had to wake up each morning, and choose healing. It takes perseverance and bravery to not run. Sometimes I was successful, sometimes I wasn't. Sometimes the urge to run overcame the desire to heal. Sometimes I listened to doctors orders, and sometimes I snuck in a run (and then suffered the consequences). My successful days were the ones I woke up and chose to not to run.
So, what have I learned in this season? I have learned there is always something to be learned :) I have learned that I am stubborn. I have learned that I am brave. I have learned that joy always comes with the morning and through the mourning.
"But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and no grow weary, they will walk and not be faint." Isaiah 40:31