40 Reflections #27: 40 days of raw recollections during the Lenten Season
I’ve run a lot of races in my day. I’ve also lost a lot of races. My running career started out like most kids with “race you to the end of the road” competitions. Of course we were always a little more motivated if a dog was chasing us. During grade school in New Mexico, I remember running one specific 100-yard dash on the last day of school. Dust was circling the air (grass was not part of our play scape), my feet felt like they were skimming the ground just enough to spring into flight with each stride. I thought for sure I had a chance to break the tape, or rather cross the line drawn with a stick, first.
Then, it happened. The moment your mind accelerates but fails to let your white Keds tennis shoes know you can win this thing. Naturally, your uninformed feet begin their tumble, knees hit the dirt, white shoes fade to earth tones, and you realize you’ve lost, again. But you’re ten, and who cares?
My kids are a little older than I was when my face met the dirt in the 100-yard dive/dash. I’ve noticed a lot has changed since I was younger. Kids are smarter, faster, and have tried everything (aka: well-rounded). For instance, a 4.0 GPA, while stellar in my day, is more commonplace, compared to the 4.6 prospective Valedictorians desire. Throw a 5k at today’s middle school runner and they’ll fly through it, hang their medal on their door knob as they walk in the door to practice their cello, polish up on their Mandarin, and finally wrap up their STEM project showing how to maximize the electrical output of a wind turbine.
For better or worse, today’s child does so much more than I ever attempted. That’s why I love running. Everyone can do it, and truly everybody wins FOR doing it. From ½ marathons to 5k’s, I’ve learned I’m never going to win, but at the finish line I’m going to crush the senior citizen I’ve been trailing the last mile.
I loved the feeling I had at 10 when I thought I had a win. Was falling in my plan? No. Is it ever? Everybody stumbles. Even Jesus fell three times, got up, and stood strong. As we take risks in life, we discover what is worth falling for, in the hope we arise stronger and wiser. The key is to wipe the dust off your Keds, and toe the line drawn on the ground one more time.
Dig Deep: Sign up for a race. Knowing you have it scheduled will make it easier to train. Watch your step. 🙂
Lenten Challenge: Go to the Stations of the Cross next Friday. Remember, we all fall, even Jesus.