Sunday, August 14, 2011

Running is NOT Who I Am



It's been a tough 10 days for me. I've been flirting with plantar fasciitis for a few months now, so 2 Fridays ago, I thought I would kick it's booty once and for all by wearing my new running shoes. Well, 2 miles in, my left Achilles began aching. Then hurting. I had to stop and stretch and walk. I had to miss my long run on Sunday, and then reduce miles and add biking to make up for lost miles on all runs since. But more than lost miles, I found myself losing heart... losing joy. Each achy step of my shortened runs reminding me of the miles I'm not running. Each pedal of the bike reminding me that I'm not one step closer to my marathon goal (at least in miles).

And each day, I've been having my own private pity party. Asking God, "Why am I having this setback?" "I know You can heal my sore Achilles, but You are not." Praying, "You are all powerful: Creator and Healer. Please restore my body to complete health." At the same time, realizing how ridiculous I am. Realizing how "off" my perspective and my focus it. I've been talking it through with God these last few days, understanding that I am out of balance. I don't have a broken leg. I am still fully able to move and exercise my body. And finally it came to me on another short, frustrating run this morning... running is not who I am; it is something I do. If my identity is running; if running becomes my sole source of joy, then it is an idol, and I need to stop. It's been so easy to justify my imbalance... it's healthy; it's good for my body; it provides stress relief; it makes me a better person.... But my joy and my peace needs to be found in Christ alone. He needs to be my strength... my everything.

And so my marathon training starts over, but not just because I have to cut miles for my Achilles to heal, but also because my focus is not on the marathon finish line. My focus is on Christ, and if I make it to the marathon finish line, that's a bonus!