“In running, it doesn’t matter whether you come in first, in the middle of the pack, or last. You can say, ‘I have finished.’ There is a lot of satisfaction in that.”
-Fred Lebow, New York City Marathon co-founder
I read through Leviticus a long time ago (yes, I read through Leviticus) and distinctly remember this specific verse. It made me laugh out loud when I read it. “All fat is the Lord’s.” The context is talking about how to make sacrifice and animal offerings to God, but I remember thinking, “What a great prayer as I begin thinking about improving my health… God, take my fat. It’s all yours!”
My last post was about running a 5K and getting back on the health track after a summer off. You might not believe how incredible it is even to me right now, but I’m now writing a post about finishing my FIRST 10K. Yep, about one month later, after some discipline and training, I ran my first 10K successfully! About one week before the run, I began to get nervous. I started paying special attention to how long it took me to DRIVE 6 miles and realized that I would soon be running that distance! I was nervous, excited, and wondering what in the world I had gotten myself into.
I had the luxury of a few things:
1. Having Abby running alongside me the entire time. At some point during the run, Abby asked me if I wanted her to run behind me to encourage me from behind or if I wanted her to run ahead of me…and I realized that what I really needed and wanted was her to run alongside me. Just knowing that someone was there kept me going strong. We ran the entire time except up two massive hills (hills was not something I had trained for) but I RAN THE ENTIRE TIME otherwise! It was miraculous!
At some point, I remember feeling awed. I was awed that my body was capable of doing something like this. I remembered 2 months ago when I first started jogging around the track that I couldn’t jog for more than 2 minutes, TWO MINUTES, without feeling completely winded and walking again. I remember feeling so frustrated that I had fallen so behind in my health progress and yet still putting one foot in front of the other. And now here I was, running 6 miles. The body God had given to me was allowing me to do something that 4 years ago I would have never imagined doing.
I also want to make a public apology to Abby because she was so great and ran alongside me the ENTIRE time and in the last little stretch where we could see the finish line, I started running as fast as I could. It was uphill by the way (who puts a finish line at the top of a hill?!) I was in so much pain and I just wanted to finish that I just took off. So, basically I’m want to publicly admit that I’m a jerk for not finishing alongside the friend who ran alongside me. Sorry dear Abby!! I know you still love me, but I need you to know that I wish I would have kept our pace with you.
2. My second luxury was that the 10K was along 17-mile drive in the Pebble Beach area. Yes, there were a lot more hills than I expected, but I had an ocean front view for almost 2 miles and the rest of it was through “forest” scenery. Trees, beautiful homes, and of course, the Pebble Beach golf course. It was also an amazing day, so that boosted my energy as well. I couldn’t have asked for better weather or a better view for my first long run.
I guess I’m posting this piece for myself–to remind myself that when I am discouraged within my health journey to remind myself at how far I have come and what I am capable of doing. It really is not an easy road for me. My natural inclination is still to sit on my butt. My metabolism is not awesome. But wow. I really am proud of myself for doing this.
The night before our run, Abby and I showed each other pictures of our “before” selves–and it reminded both of us that yes, the journey may be slow, but we have really done incredible things for ourselves, our lives, our bodies, our spirits, our health.
So my prayer today continues to be as it was before I began: God, take my fat! It’s all yours! 🙂