I don't know how many of you have ever trained for a 5k before but let me tell you...it's exhausting. I mean, physically, psychologically, and emotionally draining...yet, invigorating too. It's a great irony, really. You run and run and run until your body is physically hurting and then your mind starts screaming at you to stop. Now you're in a psychological battle to keep going. You have to silence the voice in your head that is telling you you can't, that it's too hard, that you have to quit. And because you are doing this for very personal reasons, when the battle is over (or sometimes during) your emotions are really raw because exhaustion is one of the few things that makes you let your guard down. You don't really have much of a choice at that point because you no longer have the energy to "keep it together"...not that you ever could on your own anyway. Am I making any sense at all??
Recently, my runs have been more about my mind than my body. Certainly, I want to be in great shape but there's a battle for my mind that comes with every workout and it typically goes a little something like this...
You can't do this.
Yes. I can.
No. You can't. You're not strong enough.
YES. I AM.
You know you want to quit. Why don't you just quit? What are you trying to prove anyway? It's not going to make any difference. It's not going to bring him back.
I know that. I don't care. I'm not quitting. I got this!
Look at you. Huffing and puffing, looking like a fool. Why would you embarrass yourself like that in front of people?
I've done more embarrassing things than this and will probably do more in the future. Besides, everybody is a fool for something. I'd rather be a fool for something meaningful than for something stupid or nothing at all.
Oh, the pain! You're killing me! Quit, quit, quit, quit, QUIT!
NO! I was a Lady Tiger for cryin' out loud! I survived "Pay the Price Week"! I will NOT quit! I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength, I can do all things through....You get the idea. I usually win those battles these days. (Sometimes it pays to be stubborn. ;) ) That's where the "invigorating" part comes in. Once it's over and I've pushed myself as far as I can go, I can then say I did my best. I won. I didn't give up.
Participating in this 5k has been very therapeutic for me. I've had to wrestle with a few demons and come to terms with a few things. I come away from a workout feeling exhausted (duh!) but also more alive. I won the battle. I feel a deeper connection to Matt when I exercise now too. He was the athlete in the family. I can remember many times growing up when he'd come home all sweaty, wet, and gross after a practice or a game and want to give me a hug just because he knew how much it bothered me. lol He was a "scrapper". He was only an inch or two taller than me but don't be fooled! He could take you to school on the basketball court or the baseball field. :) So, whenever I'm sweaty and gross I think about those hugs. I think about his unwillingness to quit and I push myself even further. I hear him rooting me on. "Don't you listen to that stupid voice in your head, Dee. You got this. You got this! Tighten up, now. Come on!"
Yes, emotional and therapeutic workouts. I laugh and I cry. I think about what was, what is, and what could have been. While my physical body screams for relief, my mind wrestles with reconciling the past, present, and future. Life with...life without. Well, it's not really "life without", is it? Those who dwell in our hearts never really die. More importantly, those who are called by His name never really die. Still, it's not the same. We miss those we can't see.
Tomorrow is the big day! The battle will wage again, I'm sure. I honestly don't care if I finish last, just as long as I finish. :) I know Matt will be there with me, rooting me on. Please pray that lives will be touched by this event. Please pray that lives will be saved through this event. That's our main goal and mission- to prevent others from losing all hope. To prevent other families from walking through the same hell we've experienced. To bring back joy, love, and acceptance where there once was none. Thank you for your prayers and support. I'll let you know how it goes! :)