However, I consider my life worth nothing to me; my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the good news of God’s grace. Acts 20:24
In July, when I went for my annual physical, I told my doctor that I wanted to train and run a half marathon with the local radio station I listen to. They gather as “Team Freedom” and raise money for Abolition International, a group that fights slavery and human trafficking. A runner herself, she encouraged me to reach for that goal, but to start off a little smaller. She suggested I plan to run the Jingle Bell run which was over four months away. I decided to do it and visualized myself presenting her with a race token to show that I had accomplished the 5K and was headed towards that half marathon. That was before life and my aging body got in the way. I actually did not start training until August and then, after only four “runs” (more walks than runs) encountered shin splints that were so painful I was not sure I was going to be able to get back home. The only vision I had then was calling someone to come pick me up in the car. I found a personal trainer who taught me some stretching exercises, bought some decent shoes and socks and a few weeks later, I was back at it. But, with no real consistency. The plan I was using called for training three times a week. With seven days in a week, three days sounds reasonable until you add dog school, family gatherings, work and church meetings into the mix. Some weeks I made the three sessions, but most weeks, I only got on the road twice or even once. The week of Thanksgiving with company here, I did not run at all. Grateful that I had not paid the registration fee yet, I abandoned the plan and set aside my goal as impossible. Until I talked to Jenna, my personal trainer, who scolded me for giving up so easily. She told me that even if I had not completed the Couch to 5K program, there was no reason that I could not do the Jingle Bell run even if I had to walk part of the 5K. I confessed that if I had already signed up I would likely have been more stringent about my training so with her encouragement, I signed up for the Jingle Bell Run which is tomorrow night! I ran (walked) four times this week and today, did the entire course for tomorrow to make sure that I was going to be able to do it. I do not run the entire time, at this point, I can only run for 2 ½ minutes before I have to walk 30 to 60 seconds, but that is a lot better than when I started!!! Jenna asked me what my time goal was and I told her “I just want to finish.” In the end, finishing is all that really matters. That and glorifying God and believe me, when I make it to the finish line, I will be praising God!