Run your OWN pace…

This morning I went to visit an old friend. A friend who has been there for me always. A friend who doesn’t hold it against me when I’ve gone to long without visiting (it’s been some months) but at the same time doesn’t make it easy on me. A friend who is consistently supportive and never bends under whatever weight I bring to them when I come…My friend…Lake Montebello. When I got out of my truck, I did the usual stretches and pulled out my phone to pull up my running playlist (think The Weeknd, Musiq Soulchild, Mint Condition, Floetry, Brian McKnight, etc. Listen, I need music that starts out just as slow as I do when I run.) The sun was shining, the wind was slightly blowing off of the water and as I took in a deep breath of fresh air, I thought about the runs that almost seem like fairy tale runs. It’s a run that as soon as you start out, you realize that it’s perfect running weather, the sun is shining in that not to hot type of way, but just enough to let you know it is there, your mind is clear and has connected to your brain which tells your knees, “I got you. No pain today,” as your knees tell your calves, “we’ll hold you up, it’s all good,” and your calves tell your feet, “go on and take us somewhere, we got enough muscle to help you through however many miles.” And you realize your entire body is in sync and as the wind is at your back pushing you through your journey of miles, you can’t help but smile, because this is gonna be easy. And as I stepped onto the track, in a slow jog, one foot in front of the other starting out with mile one with The Weeknd in my ears singing to me that I ” earned it”, my brain told my knees, who told my calves, who told my feet, “Taria, you ain’t in Never Never land today…this run is gonna be hard! And I’m just running, the sun shining…in my eyes so it’s hard for me to see, running in the direction OF the wind so it felt like it was pushing me backward with every step I tried to take forward and that same wind all of a sudden had a chill to it that made me want to stop and turn around and go back to the truck. I mean in my mind, none of those things did I have control over, so why try to keep running forward against elements that kept making it hard for me. But I kept running. And as I slowly ease into 1.5 miles, I think I may have found my groove, slightly. I’m breathing through my nose, my posture is correct and I allow my mind to just coast (which, those of you who know me, you know that’s not an easy thing for my mind to do. And for those of you that are just getting to know me, that is not an easy thing for me to do.) And I’m doing pretty good on my run, still moving forward at the speed I’m meant to go, then all of a sudden I feel someone coming up on my rear on the right hand side. Immediately, I speed up and then look back and as I am looking back, a woman with a big dog is passing me. I almost get OFF the track because I have a fear of dogs. Shoot.. let the dog have the track! But I stayed on. But I continue to watch the woman run ahead of me and get further and further away. I mean to me it looks like she is slower than me and therefore, she should still be behind me. I mean how was she able to come up from behind me holding onto a big dog that is heavy enough that it should be slowing her down (in my eyes) and I didn’t see her anywhere near the track when I started, and yet she came up from behind me and passed me!!!! I was so focused on her passing me when I was on that track BEFORE her, that it took me a minute to realize that I had slowed down and lost my rhythm and my posture was off which was causing my back to hurt, my breathing had become labored and I was starting to get cramps on my right side because I was breathing with my mouth open and taking in air, instead of through my nose and pushing out air. This continued on for a short while until it dawned on me that I was using so much energy to figure how she passed me, that I was getting ready to sabotage my own progress in moving forward…And I realized, that is how we can get messed up in life sometimes. There we are, traveling along on the paths to our goals feeling like we can do whatever it is we set out to do. And then along comes someone who has the same goal as you, and looks to be on the same journey as you, and then,they pass you. They get the promotion when you had been diligently working towards it, they get picked to lead a solo when you had been practicing for weeks and didn’t even know they were on the track with you. They get the proposal first when GOD knows you have been patiently waiting.They get selected to preach a sermon when they just graduated seminary and you’ve been ordained for years. And before you know it, you’ve gotten off track from working toward the thing you were gifted and born to. You’ve started regressing all because you were focused on someone else that was progressing. And the thing is, that person who you think has come out of nowhere to pass you, you don’t know what they have gone through to get to where they are going to.

So here I am at Lake Montebello, having an epiphany. I realized, I had to run MY pace and not let someone else’s pace throw me off track. I realized, it didn’t matter if I got to the “finish line” after the woman who passed me because in actuality, there was no finish line…It wasn’t a competition, it was two woman, who both liked to run and just happened to be out on the track at the same time. We still had to run our OWN race at our OWN pace…

I want to encourage anyone who feels like they are behind on what it is they are supposed to be doing and so you want to quit…keep running. If you feel like you have been working towards something for so long, and all of a sudden someone comes out of nowhere and passes you…keep running. If you feel like there are things beyond your control that are trying to force you backwards when you KNOW you are supposed to be moving forward, change your posture, to one of prayer…then get up… and keep running!

I love you guys! Thank you for reading…

Hebrews 12 vs. 1-2 NIV “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on JESUS.”

P.S. I ended up meeting my goal…3 mile run nonstop. :):):)