Injured Runner Series
Have you ever started something you felt compelled to do? You knew it was right, and you knew you were called to do it. But it seemed every which way you turned, there was a giant standing in your way? It seemed like no matter what you did, there was a barrier that caught you off guard?
- Did it make you want to quit?
- Did you question if what you were doing was where you needed to be?
- Did you try to justify why you should stop trying?
- Did you make any excuses?
The good news is this is all normal and to be expected when you’re going after a goal. When you’re in pursuit of your purpose, you will be tested. These giants that come your way are tests of your mental ability to stay the course. Isn’t it funny how, when you begin a new journey, a bump always seems to lie in the middle of the road? It makes you wonder if you’re even going the right way — maybe you should turn around — but, initially, you were pretty sure you were headed in the right direction.
When you’re in pursuit of your purpose, you will be tested.
If you asked me in high school what my plans were, I would have told you to be an author and a speaker (and co-host Sports Center). My direction was very clear, but I let the giants overpower me for years. I seriously began writing my first book about four years ago. I knew then that it was important, and I felt called to do it.
But even though I knew in my heart that it was right, I can’t tell you how many roadblocks seemed to get in the way of me running my course. I doubted my abilities and had major writer’s block. I even used my kids as an excuse. No matter what I tried, I couldn’t seem to get out of my funk. There were times I would get in the flow and write a ton, but then the same thing would happen, a giant would appear, and I would back down, and there it would sit for months at a time.
Fast forward to this fall. I really had clear direction of where I was going and of the goals I dreamed up. It’s funny because my book is all about mental toughness, yet I seemed to be failing in that area because doubt after doubt kept flooding in and making me back down. It only seems appropriate that my mentality would be tested, after all, I am a mental training coach! Could I withstand the test? Could I keep positive in the trials?
It seemed like things were really going my way, but right before Christmas, I slipped on an ice patch while running and seriously broke my ankle. Another test! What would I do? Would I cave and lose my toughness, or would I pick myself up, stay positive through the recovery, and pass the test?
Realities of an Injury
Dealing with an injury that sidelined me from doing something I love has not been easy. It’s been downright terrible at times. I am used to working out six days a week, and I went down to ZERO!
I’ve watched my running buddies enjoy their workouts together and have had to keep myself in check from letting jealousy rage in my spirit. I am unable to do many things on my own. Because it’s my right ankle that I hurt, I can’t drive. Everything takes twice as long to do because I move much slower these days. My own strength won’t get me through, and I can’t rely on it.
These are the realities of injury. These are the realities when we face our giants, they are sometimes too powerful to overcome on our own. Are we willing to drop our egos and ask for help? Are we willing to bring someone alongside us?
Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. — James 1:2-3
You Will be Tested
Recognizing that it’s a test can make it easier to get through. Usually the more you’re tested, the closer you are to the finish. It’s too bad many drop out before they get there because their giants seem impossible to overpower. In a marathon, your biggest test comes between miles 20-26. Runners usually train up to about 20 miles, sometimes more or less, but right around there. They know they are physically ready to hit that mark.
But on race day, the dreaded “wall” usually hits around that point, and even though there is some physical that plays out into that, it’s the mental toughness that’s being tested. Miles 20-26 are run with all heart. You pass the test when you cross the finish line. The same thing is true in life. It takes heart and guts to get past our giants, but we pass the test when we get on the other side of them.
If you’re following your passion and purpose you will be tested. Success doesn’t come easily. There’s always a struggle to overcome. When you’re at the point of giving up, be willing to persevere just a bit longer because your breakthrough is right there waiting for you. Pass your test!
Remember, you are a winner. Just run YOUR race!