Did you win your race? How do you win your race?
It’s been just over a year since I was in Utah for the St. George Marathon. What a thrill of a race! It is probably my favorite race so far, I may have even enjoyed it more than the Boston Marathon in 2016 (though Boston is extra special to me because of what it took to get there).
Last year around this time was such an experience! St. George Marathon begins at the peak of the mountains in Snow Canyon State Park, and brilliant colors of red, cream, and black cover the mountains. The scenery was picture perfect, and the atmosphere was electric.
Now I reminisce
When I got home from that race and trip, I was at our homeschool community day, and one of the girls came up to me and asked me if I had won the race. At first I was taken aback by the question because, of course, I didn’t win the race! But I thought about her question for a minute, and I answered her with, “I won MY race because I became a better me.”
She seemed to like that answer, but that question she asked really stood out to me, and I had to take some time to reflect on what I told her. It’s true that I became a better me out there. I trained hard and fought through obstacles to be prepared for race day. My goals were massive. I wanted a personal best time and another bid to the Boston Marathon. I chose to become better. It took digging deep and getting mentally tough, but I stuck it out.
Race day came, and it rained! I wasn’t prepared for that. It was the third time in race history it rained (it’s desert territory after all). My original playlist wasn’t working for me. The race started a half-hour late. All of these things could have been excuses for me to give up on my goals or just be average — but I chose to become better instead. I not only hit a personal best, but I crushed my goal! I beat my best time by 12 minutes! So, no, I didn’t win the race, but I won MY race because I ran it well. I trained for it and stuck it out to the finish line. I never gave up on myself — even though I wanted to many times throughout the race.
What’s most important is that we win OUR OWN race. Each of us is different, and we’re going after different personal goals with different abilities, but we CAN win OUR own races! So how do we do that?
We train for it with all we have
We create disciplines in our life so we make time for our goals. Determination seeps out of us, and our desire to win overtakes our laziness.
We don’t quit when it gets tough
No matter what your goal, you have to know that obstacles will come. It matters how we react to them and what we do with them. Choose not to quit, and choose to become stronger.
We change in the process
If we train and don’t quit on ourselves, we are sure to change. There is a growing curve as we move toward our goals, and we can’t resist the process. Let the trials and time and training work on you and change you into the person you need to become to win your race.
We become a better version of ourselves
If we train, and if we don’t quit, we will change, and that change is positive because we become better. Through the process, we are stronger and mentally tougher. We learn to adapt and modify as we grow.
At the beginning of the St. George Marathon, there were a bunch of factors out of my control.
I couldn’t control the weather or my playlist not working or the race starting late, and all those things could have had a major impact on my mentality and affected my performance. I chose to fight through, and I’m glad I did because the finish line was so sweet.
“Do you not know that in a race all the runners run [their very best to win], but only one received the prize? Run [your race] in such a way that you may seize the prize and make it yours!” — 1 Corinthians 9:24 (AMP)
The last two miles were extremely hard, and I really wanted to slow down or walk, but I told myself I had trained for that moment. The moment I wanted to quit is the moment I trained for. I worked to be mentally ready and mentally tough on race day.
I crossed the finish line with a 12-minute personal best and achieved another bid to the Boston Marathon, two goals I set out to accomplish. I didn’t let the circumstances control the outcome. I ran MY race, and I totally felt like I won the whole thing because I ran my heart out and won MY race. That’s the race that matters. You don’t have to run like everyone else. Your race is different. What matters is that you run it well.
We win OUR race when we train for it with all we have, we don’t quit when it gets tough, we change in the process, and we become a better version of ourselves. Don’t stray from your goal. Don’t compare yourself to others. Don’t quit on yourself. Choose to just run YOUR race, and win YOUR race. Choose to become a better you!
Dream huge, and, remember, you are a winner. Just run YOUR race!
I’d love to hear from you! Leave a comment below and let me know a life race you won!
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