It’s in the stretching, that change comes.
And you know what’s a stretch? I’ll tell you, me being a runner! (Although it’s becoming less of a stretch every day.)
got talked into signed up to run this half-marathon in October, I knew it would be hard, but I didn’t really know how hard. And I still don’t really know, since the longest I’ve run is 9 miles.
But I know more now than I did …
Like how I eat gummy-bear-like shot bloks for energy at mile 4
How I pant all the way uphill at the beginning of my long run just so I don’t have to go up at the end of it
How I carry water in this belt-thingy on my waist (you know … the one I bought on-sale online, sight unseen) that keeps riding up with every step, causing me to endlessly push it down every half-mile
How I needed all the accessories to make this running thing work … the smart phone with the cardiotrainer app (showing me GPS, pace, and mileage), the armband Velcro-holder-thingy for the phone, orthotic inserts—because I have the highest arch possible, seamless socks at $12/pair, and new stability shoes 1 ½ sizes bigger than my regular size 9 shoe (Yikes! … size 10 ½ just sounds so wrong)
How my muscles are sore and my hips and knees ache, and how I need to stretch a long time after I’m done, because I’m not twenty anymore
And then there’s the early morning alarm—yeah, the one that goes off before 5am … because everyone knows it’s too hot to run after 6:30 am at this time of year. (As if making it the distance wasn’t hard enough without heat and humidity and a lack of sleep slowing me down)
Yes, I know more than I did 8 weeks ago, and you know what?
This stretching is growing me.
I’m getting stronger, and pressing through longer.
And isn’t that what happens through adversity?
In the midst of it is misery?
It’s trying and seems unending, and yet by nature of the very process, we are changed.
And maybe that’s why we are to have joy in the trial, because it’s producing something. Not joy only after it’s over, but during the long arduous run–the one that’s wearing us out–the one that’s making us doubt if we can even do this at all.
And you know what? By pressing through we are already doing it.
And although we’re getting stretched beyond what we think we can bear, it is the process that is changing everything. It is the pain that’s refining my strength and remaking my muscles to be more.
I’m learning it is the stretching that’s producing the change … one I wouldn’t have known was possible without the pain and process of the long run.
What is it in your life that’s stretching you?
How are you being changed?
I’m joining Lisa-Jo, over at her site today, to take five minutes and just write without worrying if it’s just right or not. The challenge is to write for 5 minutes flat with no editing, tweaking or self critiquing, with the prompt she gives. And today, her prompt: