Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Do the work

"Do the work, Leave the rest to God."

I had a rough run today. I ran from Shultz parking lot, then followed essentially the 5K Homecoming course I am running on October 5 -- up the Huckleberry to Country Club, down Airport, over on Gracelyn and Eaken, up Preston, down Draper, and over on Clay. About two miles in I just felt sluggish and tired and walked briefly up Country Club. I think I started too fast and I started to turn negative. So I slowed it down and eventually was rewarded by the steady downhill of Draper. I got my 32 minutes in, but it was not light, free, nor joyful. I realized that I was thinking/worrying about the 5K - could I run it as a faster sprinty kind of race? Could I pace myself properly and have a strong showing? Could I top what I did in Danville?

I guess I am kind of competitive in what I thought was a hidden and covert way, but my mom laughed at me and told me I could not be more overtly competitive. OK, so maybe I am, but it's in a REALISTIC sort of way. I don't have delusions, or at least I don't think I do, about what is possible and what is hardly possible. I do recognize that I am not exactly teeming with athletic ability, but I do have a solid work ethic. I tend to put boundaries about what I think is possible for me. Who am I to do that?

So what to do with all these thoughts? While I was home to shower before returning to campus, I had the newest issue of Runner's World open to an article about a Christian marathon runner named Ryan Hall who came in 10th at the Olympics (also American record holder for the half - 59:43). It said that his dad used to tell him, "Do the work, Leave the rest to God." I ran that through my mind, over and over. I am in this for the long haul. The races just organize my running. If I do the work, the rest will be...it just will be whatever it is meant to be. Only God knows what is possible and it's not for me to set boundaries.

So, I will do the work. I will do the work when it's light and easy. And I will do the work when it's hard and uncomfortable. Regardless of what I am dealt for the day's run, I will infuse it with positive joy knowing each run is exactly what it is meant to be.

I want my testimony to be my work, my diligence, and my attitude in times of reward and times of trial. The outcome is immaterial.