Friday, March 18, 2011

Couch to 5K Challenge

by Robin

This fall, I took the Couch to 5K Challenge when I saw some friends who were commenting on Facebook about running and one used this program to build up her stamina. I decided to join them. It was hard work, but fun since I love to exercise and this was a good way to keep my joints working on cold days. Running definitely warmed up my body & kept me fluid. Before I knew it, I was hitting a little over 2 miles by Christmas and I finished the 9 wk program. Less than a month later, I was making 3.1 miles regularly to run a 5K race I had planned on doing with those girlfriends in March. My times were even getting better with each run (not at all to brag that I'm fast, because I am NOT).

As life would have it, my fibromyalgia ruined all my plans and I hurt my plantar fasciitis muscle on the arch of my foot. I could run through the pain but I paid dearly for days afterwards. I rested. I iced. I bought orthotic inserts. I used compression. I elevated. Nothing stopped the pain and I threw in the towel. It was definitely a pity-party moment for myself. I cried and cried. I have never been able to run far and so it meant everything to me to run those three miles.

I made such a big deal on Facebook about each time I completed a run or put another week under my belt (er... feet). And now, I had to stop my status updates. I felt I had built up a community of C25K running friends. One time, I counted up to 7 people were running because I had either inspired or motivated them. Yet, I sulked.

The race came and went. My friends did excellent in their races. For me, my muscles weakened in 2 wks. My metabolism slowed back down. My jeans got tight again and let's not even talk about my stomach pouch. I had thought the only good news was that I lost those 2 lbs on the scale since I lost all the muscle. But then, I got a note today.

A person I barely know, let me know that he had been inspired by my C25K status updates and began running. Today, he ran 3 miles in 30 minutes. I was so elated for him. And then the Holy Spirit spoke to me. I can barely type it out because of how it affected me and tears are welling up in my eyes.

God said to my heart that this is why we, Christians, are to live our lives out loud! Part of me had been ashamed to have put all that on display at Facebook and then show my weaknesses, too. But God said to think of all the times I put Him on display on Facebook. The running was symbolic to show me how much people notice my (your) life. They notice your heart. They notice your joy. They notice your relationship to Christ. Your relationship with your family. It becomes contagious. If one little pitifully slow runner could affect 8 people's (that I know of) lives for a running program, think of how many lives are affected by my love for Christ. That is the bigger picture that I should be focused on.

Today, my foot gave me some slight aches from being on it too long. But, do you know what? Those aches won't get me down any more. I will remember "How beautiful are the feet of those that preach the gospel of peace, Who bring glad tidings of good things! (Rom 10:15) If my feet can preach about the C25K program, then I will continue living out loud on Facebook about how great my Jesus is!!
If you'd like to know more about my relationship with Jesus Christ, please leave me a comment. (the link I used to begin my running program) (The Christian music I used to run with. It's great because it tells you when to start/ stop.)
Have a blessed weekend.

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