One of the very first things you learn when you enter a race is that you have to run your own race. Most people learn this the hard way and I am no different. There I was lined up for my first 5K all ready to go and scared out of my wits. This may be hard to picture but I was the tallest and perhaps roundest runner I could see anywhere – 245 odd pounds of rolling muscle, somewhere under all that baby fat, and with my Kangoo boots giving me an extra 5” I looked tall. I knew better than to go to the front of the pack as that was where all the real “runners” were. I was intimidated as all get out because everywhere I looked there were all these athletic looking people – long legs, narrow waists, no apparent fat anywhere – and I was not at all like them. So the gun went off and we took off. In the back of my mind as we hit the half mile mark I’m thinking “this is not going to turn out well” as I was booking along with kind of the front of the middle pack. And then the wheels fell off. Just as I got to the first mile I had to pull off to the side as I felt like I was going to barf, my whole body ached and I honestly believed I was having a heart attack. I did finish the race but I learned a valuable lesson that day. You have to run your own race and you can’t focus on the other racers around you because they have to race their own race also.
Imagine if there was a way to learn this early on in life also. Hebrews 12:1 says “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.” I spent so much of my early life trying to please other people and fit in that it got to a point where I didn’t even know who I was and it was a hard process with lots of ups and downs to get back to running my own race. And that my friends is what that verse from Hebrews means. We are all hindered by the things that aren’t getting us any closer to who we were designed to be. The challenge is that we keep wearing those things, the habits and thoughts that entangle and hinder us. In order to run the race marked out for us we must throw these things off and begin to run the race marked out for us with perseverance.
In the next ten posts I am going to detail ten steps to beginning this new year by getting on track to run your own race and not deviating so you can truly live an ultra life.