Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Spirit of the Sport

I’ve wanted to tell you all about my adventures in my first 5k. But as I dragged my feet on typing the post…tragedy occurred. Now it seems in poor taste to acknowledge my joyful experience as others are still living out their nightmares.

But if I have learned anything through the last couple weeks it would be this….spirit. There is a spirit about the sport of running like no other. I admit I have yet to participate in many other activities and running is my first adult attempt. But as I see testimonies, read emails, experience my first 5k and prepare for my next I am whole heartily tuned into the spirit of running.

My 8 year old son, Alex just participated in his first District track meet at the county level. Even though the stands were filled with fans from a few dozen different counties everyone cheered on each and every child. We shared a brief friendship with the spectators around us, discovered who their child was and cheered for his success. They did the same for Alex. Although the track and field events are competitive, every child is just trying to do his or her best. And every mother’s heart yearns to see him do so.

So while that afternoon could easily have become one with a competitive nature (and let’s face it, when parents are involved in their kids’ sports…there’s usually an aggressive edge) instead it was an afternoon filled with comradery…in wanting to see each individual thrive.

This is what running has become for me.

Locally we have a group of girls who meet to run in the morning. This little pack was started by one of my dear friends. Until recently I had zero desire to join the “running crew”. My lack of ability left me feeling inadequate. But back in January when I made the decision to run a 5k, I laced up my shoes and set my own goals. Not ready to run with the crew yet, I ran on my own…knowing I would get there eventually. For the past few months I have pushed myself, my will, my body and my strength. Last week I officially stepped out with the girls and it felt great!

My heart has been changed. It is not about what someone else wants for me, but about what I want for myself.

This scripture found me the other day:

“Each one should test their own actions. Then they can take pride in themselves alone, without comparing themselves to someone else,” Galatians 6:4

I shared this verse with my weight loss friends as it is entirely how I see our journey to victory with our bodies as well as victory in my running. I have been moved to test my own actions, to push myself further. I am taking pride in myself without comparison to my friends.

Running and choosing to join others in an event is not a team effort. The decision is a selfish one. The choice to put yourself on the line, to test your abilities. And the joy is that everyone is with you. Everyone is cheering for YOU.

After the bombing, a friend of a friend posted on Facebook: I dedicate this next run to 8 year old boys who cheer on their dads at the finish line.

The spirit of this sport is alive. It’s in each individual who laces up. In the souls who cheer on their neighbor. The spirit is the desire to see others do their best, reach their goal and succeed.

I may not ever be as fast as my running crew friends, and I’m pretty positive I will never run a marathon, but should the desire every strike me…I know I have the support of the entire running community.

I've decided to go ahead and share my Color Rundown here. Coming soon! 

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