Thursday, July 23, 2009

Life Long Lover (and other lessons from a 5K)

Yesterday evening I ran in the "Life Time Fitness Torchlight 5K" for the second year in a row. The thing is, I really don't enjoy running. The only reason I began doing the event was for the personal challenge (overcoming obstacles, etc.). For 5K isn't much for some, but for someone who typically only runs during a rugby practice/match, or from the cops (...j/k), it poses enough of a challenge. Last year upon finishing I proclaimed that I would never do it again, even though I enjoyed the accomplishment and overall event (running through downtown w/ well over 5,000 others, followed by a large after party, all put on by my employer = cool). 

Then when the marketing came out for the 09 event I figured that it was fun enough to do again. So I convinced a few friends from the RVC 20somethings (Brad, Matthew, and Maria) to run it as well. In training for it a ran a mile here and there, then ran a mile a day for 6 days, took 2 days off, followed by a 2.5 then a 2 mile run the day before the race. So essentially I felt ready. 

Getting to the Basilica to check-in was near madness as the clock ticked down to the start time. Adrenaline showed up. Cotton mouth ensued. The Aquatennial Grand Marshall waved down and the blow horns sounded, I was off (and I swear I was in first place for at least a tenth of a second), I started the stopwatch on my iPod and kicked out the jams on a playlist titled "5K Fuel" (The Killers, 311, Haste the Day, Mutemath, August Burns Red, Underoath, and Project 86). 

No joke, when I saw the first mile marker I thought to myself 'You've got to be kidding me...' Although stopping to walk was certainly not an option, my body totally wanted to. If I was doing it for anything other than the Glory of Christ, I would have...

Now, here's the main point of it all:
Approaching the Stone Arch Bridge is probably the most difficult part of the course, but I knew there would be a group cheering that would be far more encouraging than any spectators around (Shelley, Nicole, Amy, Tara, ad Darren). As I saw them in the distance I knew that wanted to communicate especially w/ Shell, so as I was running by her as she is snapping photos, I barely muster out the words "I love you." That is the kind of love I desire to always have and show for her; to love her when I can hardly breathe any more, to love her when the energy to even swallow is lacking, to love her when I feel like quitting... to love her tirelessly. 

Oh God may this life of mine not be wasted, but be well-lived for your Glory. Help me to love her tirelessly. Give me an eternal perspective so that I will be focused on that which really matters. Let every breath of mine be breathed for your name.

"Prepare in urgency to race
Casting off the weight that burdens me
I cannot dare to force the pace
Marathon for life the road I face

My gaze is set on finishing

I'm straining to extend my lead
As every evil chases me
One day, one hour every step

I know I fix my eyes ahead

Straining on to run without remorse
Casting off mistakes that came before
In my mind I see a hallowed door
Open arm embrace, I'm reaching for...

Just like a breeze is passing me
My stammers a distant memory
We cannot afford a glance to see
What's gaining or what is history"