So on sat 5/27 I ran 10 miles, that was only my second race. The first was about two months prior when I ran the Shamrock shuffle which was 4.9 miles. A friend told me about the Soldier’s Field 10 and when I asked her would I be ready for that, she without hesitating said, “Of course.” She had been doing these races for a while so she had experience in this area and her response was all I needed to hear in order to go for it. This brings me to the first thing I learned about life from my race:
#1 Sometimes in order to succeed you need someone else to believe in you. Believe it or not, there will be times when you don’t believe in yourself enough to complete something and will need someone who really believes in you to push you.
#2 Sometimes you will feel like you are running forever and you have only gone two miles. Has life ever challenged you with all of its going ons, the evil, the hate that you start wondering when Jesus plans to return. I have been there. That is when you realize it’s been two thousand years so that is probably only 2 days for God and that means you have a ways to go. I had been running for what seemed like many miles only to look up and see a 2 mile post. I was disappointed. Keep running though, you will make it to the finish. Each step is a step closer.
#3 You can look at the people before you behind you or beside you but you do not have to be like them or do what they do. If they not breaking a sweat they are probably dehydrated. They look good on the outside but on the inside there is a problem
#4 Let those considered atypical encourage and motivate you. At about mile 4 I caught up to a grandpa and he was running y’all. He looked to be high 60s or early 70s. Now I don’t know when he started the race but he motivated me to keep running. He is not the typical runner but he earned my respect and encouraged me to run.
#5 Enjoy the journey. Someone told me about two weeks ahead of the race that it was a beautiful race, all lakefront is what she said and she said enjoy it. I realized that I wasn’t enjoying the race at about mile 3. I was too focused on the pressures. My feet was starting to hurt, I had gotten winded and didn’t think I would finish and then I looked over at the Lake Michigan and remembered to enjoy the run. I was able to appreciate the unobstructed view of the Chicago skyline in certain areas, I saw a huge sign on the other side of the street that said, “You are beautiful,” I saw the beauty of the horizon and a beautiful blue sky with patches of cloud here and there. I saw like diamonds, glitters of sunlight getting caught in waves that danced on the lake. I saw sculptures that were weirdly tall and although I did not get any pictures because I didn’t want to stop I enjoyed the visual treats.
#6 Be ready for the challenge, know that no matter how hard you have trained, no matter your preparation you will experience hardships and challenges. If you have your mind ready for them, you will make it.
#7 There is always a little more left in you. If you have ever had suicidal thoughts, this is for you. I didn’t think I could finish 10 miles but not only was I able to finish 10 miles but I was able to speed up at the end of the race when I saw the finish line ahead, who would have thought?
#8 You will need to be refreshed from time to time. After the race I drank two bottles of water and didn’t have to go the bathroom. I realized that my body needed that water but I didn’t pay attention to that during the race. Water is life. There was a point early on in the race where I was passing under a viaduct and one random drop of cool water on my arm got me to reflect on scripture. When you are hot and sweaty, a cool breeze or a drop of water is life. It is like a refreshing scripture just when you need it, bask in your refreshment, maybe it is a friend, a getaway, a family member, or alone time with your savior, you need it so you can keep going.
#9 There are people in the race with you. Everyone has a story, everyone has a purpose in mind/a reason for running the race, don’t overlook them.
#10 My final reason which is by no means the least important is related to number 9. Do something for someone else no matter how small. There was young girl in the race that kept passing me and I would keep passing her. At the end I felt we had developed a relationship weird right? No. At the end of the race she sprinted past me and stayed ahead till she crossed the finish line. After I got my little medal I caught a glimpse of her and ran up to her to congratulate her. I was rewarded with the brightest smile and in our brief exchange, I learned that she was running for the first time. Now I may never see her again and maybe even if I saw her again I may not even recognize her but congratulating her made my day.
Until next Tuesday remember these life lessons