Eight down, four to go.
I would think about the last four months I had to go, and my mojo was no longer there. I didn't want to do any more. This has been much harder than I thought. The cost, the logistics, getting out there and doing 13.1 miles ready or not, it's been tough. So every time I sat down at the computer to plan out the rest, I would end up wandering off to do laundry or some other procrastination.
My thought has been, I'm over it!
How many times do we set a goal, so excited at the beginning? The motivation is so real then. I remember well how I felt in January. This was going to be epic and meaningful. Twelve in twelve! I was pumped up.
But here's September and honestly I'm not feeling any of that excitement. I took one more look at the available half marathons in the area and decided to pay the small fortune and walk the New Albany Walking Classic. Picking up my race packet Saturday, I was still unsure if I'd even show up. Same with Saturday night at dinner. Sunday morning, when the alarm rang at 6:00 am, I thought, "This is dumb!" I am tired and I need to sleep.
I hit the snooze.
The second time it rang, I was still highly resistant to the idea of getting up and walking 13.1 miles, but this little voice in me started to awaken. It was my commitment, my initial motivation in January, my reason for doing this to begin with. "Just get up", it said.
I got up and chugged some coffee. I looked at my race number and rolled my eyes, still rebelling against my own goal. Then I saw the Believe rack of medals on my wall that holds January - August. Yes, I could quit. No one would be mad at me. But I know this from my past. Quitting doesn't grow me. Quitting doesn't strengthen me. Quitting reinforces the old belief that I don't matter, and what I do doesn't matter.
But it does.
So I stared at the Believe rack that represents my goal. And I called on my commitment. Please, God, remind me of why I was excited to do this and help me see it through. Help me show up. Help me finish. Help me keep my commitments, especially to myself.
I'll be honest, my feelings didn't change. I didn't suddenly feel this rush of excitement to go walk. But the resistance disappeared, and that was enough. I put on my race number and got in the car. I got out of the car and hurried to the start. I sang the National Anthem and started walking. And at mile 4 I had the thought that I would cut it short and finish with the 10Ks. But somewhere around mile seven, when the sun came out and the music kicked in, the joy came back. Oh happy day, there it was!
I know how hard it is to stick with fitness. There are days that we don't feel like doing it AT ALL. And there are days we feel like quitting entirely. I've learned there has to be something bigger than me, to call on when resistance is overpowering me. I call on these things:
My commitment - the reason and the excitement that caused me to set this goal in motion in the first place (health, feeling better about myself, celebrating life...)
My community - the people I made my commitment TO (that was you!)
My empowerment - "...I was given the gift of a handicap to keep me in constant touch with my limitations. Fear did his best to get me down; what he in fact did was push me to my knees. No danger then of walking around high and mighty! At first I didn’t think of it as a gift, and begged God to remove it. Three times I did that, and then he told me,
My grace is enough; it’s all you need.
My strength comes into its own in your weakness." -2 Corinth 12
Fear and resistance are too big for me to face alone. And I don't have what it takes to keep my commitments long term. But I don't have to. I have something much bigger than me to turn to when I need help. I have love and grace to empower me and keep me going.
So do you. You are loved. There is grace for your struggle.