Minimally fit but with illusions of physical grandeur, I signed up for the 5K Battersea run late last year. At the starting line up my husband pointed to the camel that stood beside me and warned, “Miriama, me kua ni siviti iko na kameli qori” (Don’t let the camel beat you).
The man in the camel suit was tiny and the suit’s hump was bigger than my Fijian calves. I thought this was going to be a walk in the park. I started off well putting a good distance between us. Camel Man struggling with his two front legs and tail, sweating out of every pore and his hump giving in to gravity creating drag. I was elated as it was my goal for the day met.
Unfortunately, at 4k every KFC I had ever devoured seemed to have planted themselves firmly in my posterior which like Pangea was breaking up from the rest of my body. It was tough going and the camel beat me badly.
That race made me determined to put in a bit more effort the next time. So, at the start of this year I signed up to run 13.1 miles and raise money for charity. This journey was amazing, it reiterated some of life lessons I had forgotten along the way and I have listed 7 below. I hope some of them will resonate with you.
1. Preparation is key.
Get a good training plan before embarking your journey. Know exactly the cost (time, social life, eating habits & sleep) and decide if these are sacrifices worth taking. Mine was sleep and large portions of food and I would gladly sacrifice it all over again.
Luke 14: 28-30 “Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Won’t you first sit down and estimate the cost to see if you have money to complete it? For if you lay the foundation and you are not able to finish it, everyone who sees it will ridicule you, saying. ‘This person began to build and wasn’t able to finish’”.
2. Leave comparisons at the door.
People will overtake you and at other times you may overtake others, never compare your progress to theirs. You don’t know their training plan, or what their fitness level is compared to yours and most importantly this path where your lives have intersected is only a snapshot of the whole race.
Run your own race. Don’t look for visual affirmations of your progress.
Galatians 6: 4-5 “Each one should test their own actions. Then they can take pride in themselves alone, without comparing themselves to someone else, for each one should carry their own load”.
3. Carry on especially when it’s hard.
I personally find the first 3 miles the hardest and it’s when I am most likely to quit, once I cross the 3-mile threshold my legs stop resisting and my mind has won the battle. It is through the hardest bits of the race when our mettle is tested so carry on even when it’s hard.
2 Chronicles 15:7 “But as for you do not give up for your work will be rewarded”
4. Every problem has a solution.
So, you missed 5 sessions of training due to your cold? Fine just continue from where you are supposed to be now.
So, you have sticky Haribo’s all over your front because you thought it a good idea to stick them in your sports bra? Fine just have a hot shower once you get home. You aren’t feeling 100% on race day? Just do your best because your best is good enough.
Nothing is worth stressing over. There’s always a solution to everything.
Matthew 6: 34 “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own”
5. Develop a thick skin
I am no princess, but I have thin skin and for the longer training runs I developed blisters in the most surprising places. However, once those healed, the skin that grew back was thicker. So, develop your thick skin, its okay to hurt because when that heals you are going to be tougher than you were.
Proverbs 12: 18 “The words of the reckless pierce like swords, but the tongue of the wise brings healings”
6. No women is an island
The last time I joined a team sport I accidentally tackled the umpire and gave her a concussion. So, I decided to take up cycling and running where the injury I would inflict would be to myself. While running is an individualist sport, you need your support system around you.
Genuine supporters last the distance. Nurture those and you nurture them when they need you.
John 15: 13 “Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for friends”
7. Finally- The world is inherently good.
I have always been an incurable romantic and my love affair with humanity was reaffirmed when my request for funds on Just Giving saw me exceed the target. On race day strangers called out our name urging us to go on and children of all ages held out their hands for high fives. There were around 10,000 people on the course so there was bound to be jostling for space but every time someone got in my way there was always a “sorry” accompanying it.
I have seen how we humans can show love for each other therefore I am still an incurable romantic.
Psalms 8: 3 & 4 “When I consider your heavens, the works of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is mankind that you are mindful of them, human beings that you care for them?”
What have you ticked off your bucket list this year and how did you achieve that?
I wish you all the best and hope that reach all the goals you have set for 2018.