Thursday, July 12, 2012

Not The Gold Medal Sprint!

I’ve commented on the similarities between running and doing life in a couple of archived posts.  (“Taking Life One Sidewalk Block At A Time” and “Philippians 3:13-14 – Perseverance – Persistence – Endurance”)  In “Philippians 3:13-14 – Perseverance – Persistence – Endurance”, I mentioned my personal goal to run 30 minutes continuously by the end of this summer.

I set the goal in May but reality found me struggling to maintain ten sets of a ratio that included running for two minutes, and walking for one minute.  If I was gasping like a diver with an empty air tank at this 20 minute ratio how would I ever get to 30 minutes of continuous running?

Deciding more research was required I started to read John Stanton’s book on running from the Running Room.  Here’s what I discovered...

Running requires you to pace yourself.  Stanton teaches you to run at a pace that allows you to talk comfortably.  TALK; heck I couldn’t even maintain basic priorities like breathing!

I discovered forcing yourself to slow down is quite challenging.  It takes practice and constant correction, but that’s exactly what you have to do if your goal is endurance.  In order to maintain a reasonable heart rate and add minutes to my running time each week I had to slow the pace. 

My mind and body tend to be at odds with this and generally have an ongoing argument sounding something like this...

MIND:   “Slow down, you’re going too fast.   You can’t maintain this pace.  We’re not setting any speed records.  The goal’s endurance and distance, not an Olympic gold sprinting medal.”

BODY:  “Must go faster, want to go faster, not going fast enough.  Somebody’s catching up and passing...must...go...FASTER!  Crap...can’t breathe!”

MIND:  “Told you so!”

I’ve finally settled down to a good pace, but periodically I still find my heart rate climbing out of the “talk comfortably” zone.  When this happened earlier in the week I found myself comparing this to periods of life when we’re waiting on God.

We think we know what needs to happen in our lives.  We rush forward and make our plans without consulting God.  Waiting on God can be as hard as trying to slow down the running pace.  It’s frustrating.  Our bodies twitch with an overwhelming desire to take action, but God asks us to wait for His direction and His timing.

Since I’ve slowed down I’m seeing weekly progression towards my goal.  I’m able to maintain four cycles of run eight minutes:walk one minute.  My running time within each cycle increases by one minute each week. 

Like the gradual running progression, we will only receive the very best God has in store for us when we slow down the pace and wait for His guidance and direction instead of pushing ahead on our schedule.

Think about it...you’re in this relationship with God for the long haul.  So slow down, wait, and listen for Him to speak to you.  Let Him steer you in the right direction at the right time, and the results will far exceed anything you could dream up for yourself. 

It may not happen overnight but if you pace yourself, and wait on God you’ll see this period of waiting in the rearview mirror and be able to appreciate the steps towards fulfilling His dreams for you.

Are you in a time of waiting?  Experiencing frustration?  Share your thoughts by clicking on “comments” below.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

.thanks for sharing