Saturday, July 26, 2008

Lessons Learned from Running

How's the running going Gina? Why, thank you so much for asking. That's really thoughtful of you. It's going quite well in fact. I have a nine mile run scheduled for tomorrow. I had two great five mile runs this week. My new shoes (Mizuno Wave Creation 8) are fantastic and make a world of difference. And I'm discovering that Relient K is a great band to listen to while I'm out.

But beyond learning which bands play fast enough for a running pace, this training has been teaching me deeper lessons. Much of my motivation has come from reading The Resilient Life by Gordon McDonald. Here are a few quotes from it:

"Resilient people seek the satisfaction of knowing that every part of their lives is under personal control, and they understand that there is a price to be paid for this."

"Discipline is intentional suffering. It is the act of insisting that the body, the mind, and the spirit engage in challenges that build up capacity and stamina."

"The (athletes) push their bodies to heightened levels of performance by demanding of themselves longer, faster, and stronger episodes of physical output. They do not stop simply because there is a feeling of fatigue or even pain. They understand that there are mental barriers that have to be overcome."

"When I push my body for an extended time, the other pieces of who I am seem to awaken to the fact that I really am the boss, and that my entire being is expected to submit to the convictions and intentions I have set in place for myself. "

I am coming to look forward to my runs, not because I enjoy them (although there are moments when I do feel great doing it) but because I enjoy the results, both physical and mental. I like knowing that I have made choices and pushed past barriers I have set up for myself in my mind. Each time I am running and am tempted to quit, but press on instead, I know it is a further step (literally) toward a higher level of competence.

I know now that when I used to say, "I can't run" what I was really saying was, "I don't want to run." I wonder in what other areas of my life I have set up the same mental barriers?

I'll finish with another good quote, this time from an even better book:
"No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it." Hebrews 12:11


Anonymous said...

Great lesson on running! While I haven't been running much this summer (too much disc golf), it isn't too far from my mind. Thanks for sharing the Gordon MacDonald quote - I thoroughly enjoyed another of his books (Ordering your Prviate World). Hang in there with your training! - Dawn Domsten

Anonymous said...

Gina, you're developing great stamina and determination. Keep going for the 9 miles.
I starting running from home to Staring Lake Park 35 months ago and haven't increased my routine of walking and running for the past 24 months (about 2.2 miles total) It works fine in my mind, but maybe I should buck up, assimilate some McDonald and stretch more; that's what Charlotte tells me too.
I'm proud of you.

Anonymous said...

Gina, This is a delight to read! I have ar unner daughter who would understand and track with so much of this! Keep going! Carol Buchanan