Rising Above Injury

Injury. A word I never throw around lightly and one that has hovered over my head within the past three and half years in various forms of threat. Over time, (1339 days to be exact) my body has demonstrated a miraculous ability to take the pounding of pavement in ways that defy logic. Until yesterday. 

As I headed out on my nine mile run, things were seemingly set well. I had left early enough so that I would be back in time to be present as mom while my husband would have the gift of time with his friends. As I headed out the door, I popped on Jen Hatmaker's latest podcast--a highly engaging episode with Jo Saxton on Knowing Your Influence by leading from within. Conditions were perfect, and I had hydrated well enough. My mind was focused mostly on the day's activities after completing the run as I set out and less on the run itself. 

Just shy of mile three, I felt the same twinge in my hamstring that I had experienced in the presence of my running partner a few days earlier. I figured then it was dehydration. After a few minutes of the pain intensifying, I began to sit in the realization that this was not just a twinge that was going to go away. If you could see inside my brain on long runs, you would see a reel of determination and stubbornness that has steadied me through this lengthy running streak as well as to complete two marathons pretty well. So, to say that it was an internal battle to stop running and do a run/walk back home completing only five and a half of the nine planned miles is placing it smack in the center of a blessed understatement.  The entire way back I spent my mental energy on not injuring myself further, on coping with the idea of giving up marathon training, on promising myself I would begin cross-training and all the other smart things more intelligent runners do. 

Throughout the day yesterday, I was more gentle with my legs than normal. I bought a compression sleeve for my knee, put it up for a bit in the afternoon, and noticed the pain. All. Day. Long. In the evening, I went to school to supervise sectional playoffs, an event which brings in over 1300 people and requires me to stand and walk a lot. I shared about my injury with several people. The entire time, thinking, "I am going to have to give up this marathon." And also this...

The idea of an injury sidelining me did not devastate me. In fact, I shared with my co-authors, Jessicas Johnson and Cabeen that due to being more balanced, this was not devastating me the way it would have even a year ago. That is truth. 

But it was still hard. 

Which is why when I went out for my run this afternoon and discovered once again the power of a strong spiritual connection through running, that I was completely humbled, grateful, and in awe of the good work being done in me once again. 

When I set out, I was hesitant at first, but I leaned in and began with a prayer of gratitude to be able to run. I spent the first mile thinking about how I had begun to take the gift for granted again, internally cringing when I began to realize how lately I have been dreading runs in the dark. I began to listen carefully for the internal direction that has become so important in my life and brought about incredible transformation. There it was. The commanding, comforting, authoritative voice sharing with me the beauty in yet another lesson. 

Intentional. Immersion. Gratitude. Presence. Focus. Humility. Glory Placement. 

All of these had slowly begun to slide away with the plan for this marathon training. Instead of heading out with a clear mind, ready to seek His words for me, I was filling my thoughts with others' insights. Though valid and useful were these messages from others, that's not what my current season needs to be. I was checking boxes, running to get it done to be ready in June. But that's not what is going to get me to rise with his purpose in me. And the timing ties very well to the timeline of my departure from my current position, which is no coincidence either. 

This marathon is going to happen. And I am going to absolutely rock it out of the park. How do I know? Because for 24 hours, I was injured enough where it hurt to walk or sit around. In this afternoon's run, where God reminded me of what it is I am to be working through in this season, I ran 3.5 miles at 8:00 minute pace, which is a full minute faster than what I have been doing this winter. I listened. Focused. Leaned. 

And now, in this post, I give Him the glory again. My leg feels better tonight. It will be ok moving forward. I am assured of this enough to post it publicly, because part of what I am called to do this year is RISE with His purpose in me. And this was to do with running. And much much more. However, tonight, it is about gratitude once again for this gift of time to be with Him in nature with nobody else to cloud my thoughts or arrange my next. 

At the end of this day that started with a clear message in response to the quest for direction, I am honored to choose to live life less safely so that I can feel the thrill of knowing His purpose rise in me. 


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