I love the Olympics. I will be glued to the TV for the next two weeks. I love the competition, I love the history and the patriotism. I sometimes get overwhelmed during the medal ceremony because of the pride and sense of belonging and representing your country.
The athletes stories are fascinating and for some it hasn't been easy getting to this level of competition. It takes being focused, hard work, pain and endurance.
I've run two major events in my life and both I thought were out of the realm of possibility. I ran the Army ten-miler in Washington DC. I wasn't really a runner and I quickly realized that this was my race and mine alone. I couldn't keep up with the pack of runners I was with. The race would be one of endurance and not of speed. My goal: FINISH the race.
This year I walked/ran the Atlanta half-marathon with my running buddy, Sunshine. I had a hip flexor pull and bursitis in my right leg (still dealing with the bursitis.) The distance is very daunting, Turner Field, to Atlantic Station, to Piedmont Park, to the capital. That is a lot of ground to cover! 13.1 miles is a long way when all you can think about is how much your leg hurts to take another step. I was slowing our pace down but I didn't want to drop out. I kept plugging along and decided to run on the downhills to hopefully give my leg a stretch. Soon we were halfway done...then only a few miles left...and finally we ran the last few yards across the finish line. We were both in pain but the sense of accomplishment of forging through the pain is so emotional.
Don’t you realize that in a race everyone runs, but only one person gets the prize? So run to win! All athletes are disciplined in their training. They do it to win a prize that will fade away, but we do it for an eternal prize. So I run with purpose in every step. I am not just shadowboxing.
1 Corinthians 9:24-26 [new living translation]