The Discipline to Start, The Will to Finish

My friend and I after the race…we look much better than we feel.

I’ve never said so many Hail Mary‘s in my life and I now understand what it is to offer up pain.  I’ve pushed my body beyond its limits(and now I’m paying for it).  I have officially run the half marathon I set out to do 7 months ago.  Thank you, thank you, thank you for all your support – both monetary and spiritually!

So what did I learn from this?  Training and discipline is everything.  I didn’t pace myself in the beginning of the race and paid for it later on.  I wasn’t as disciplined in my training as I should have been and wasn’t as prepared as I could have been.  A lack of training and discipline makes it that much harder to push through the walls you will inevitably hit when running 13.1 miles.  This is an easily transferable lesson: if you’re not “spiritually fit,” you’ll be unprepared to deal with crises and those times when your faith is shaken.

Looking back on the race, another thing I learned is this: even when you think you’re alone – you’re probably not.  When I was limping towards the finish line, sure I was in dead last, I caught up with one lady who became my personal cheerleader for the last couple of miles.  Then my brother came out of nowhere and jogged beside me as I used the last of my energy to sprint across the finish.  We often don’t recognize the help that God sends us throughout life because get caught up in self-pity over our loneliness and suffering.

Most importantly: suffering makes us stronger and with the right amount of mental willpower, you can go farther than you ever imagined.

My one question: when can I do another one??

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“Mental will is a muscle that needs exercise, just like the muscles of the body.” -Lynn Jennings

“The will to win means nothing without the will to prepare.” -Juma Ikangaa, 1989 NYC Marathon winner

“Running is the greatest metaphor for life, because you get out of it what you put into it.” -Oprah Winfrey

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