Tuesday, June 20, 2023

Ordinary People Trying to Do Extraordinary Things

Why is it that we humans are always pushing ourselves to go further? You achieve a 5K and then you're curious about what running a 10K would be like. You then gradually progress to a half marathon, then a full marathon, then an ultra marathon. You're on an adventure and you really have no idea where it will lead you. Running (and exercise in general) is more about self-discovery than it is about the physical aspect. Here I am during a break in today's workout at the Y. 

As you know, I began lifting because I wanted to build upper body strength so that I could return to Zermatt and attempt to climb a couple more 4,000-meter peaks. I am on a journey, a quest, an adventure to discover what I'm capable of. I'm constantly managing my thoughts and emotions in that proverbial quest for the finish line. Just knowing how to face challenges with courage and with the confidence that you have been here before can be life-changing. As a teacher, I love seeing this attitude in my Greek students despite the self-doubt they often bring to the classroom. I once had a teacher say to me, "Who we are in adversity is who we are." That is a very biblical thought! Furthermore, we know over time that consistency wins, no matter what. We live in a world of facing adversity and difficulty. Adversity brings the best out of us. When you're in a marathon and hit the wall and are deep in the place of hurt, that's where you love to be because that's where you learn so much about yourself. I want to know what my God-given potential is in all aspects of life. And that can happen at any distance. For you, it might be facing down the challenge of walking for 20 minutes 3 times a week. It can be overwhelming. You're sitting there thinking, "Why am I even doing this?" That's a good place to be, because if you knew you could do it, it wouldn't bring out your best effort. Again, nothing matters more than long term consistency. Consistent small efforts trump the occasional great effort. Just ask anyone who has tried to master New Testament Greek or attempted to run an ultra marathon. Start small and stay consistent. We can do more than we think we can if we give it time and slowly build up to it. 

I love the "Who is the person I want to be one year from now?" attitude. That's the question I keep asking myself. Have I reached my God-given potential? Have any of us? Just think of all the areas in our lives, including the spiritual, that are untapped. That's one reason I love the running community so much. The focus is always on authenticity. You do what is right and true for you. It isn't about who's the fastest or most elite runner. Thank God, because I would have been ruled out years ago. It's about being ordinary people who are trying to do extraordinary things. And even if I never make it back to Switzerland and never climb another peak in the Alps, I see the training as beneficial because it makes me push harder in other areas of my life. 

Anybody else feel the same way?