Hey Everyone, last Saturday my wife Morgan and I ran a 50k (that’s 31.2 miles) trail race in West Virginia. It was a culmination of 4 months of training and preparation, and with most difficult things, it took all of that time and prep to pull it off.
Why a 50k? Why not a marathon? Or a half-marathon? All good questions, since I had not run any of those distances before this. Well, Morgan wanted to run a marathon (or more) distance on her birthday weekend, which was May 9. Also, I don’t like running on pavement, especially with the beautiful trails here at Rockmont and around the area. We both wanted to do something that would require significant time and effort to prepare for. We could still go out and “pride” ourselves to finish a half marathon, so 26.2 was the minimum. Finally, if the run doesn’t go well and you end up walking a lot, your run is now simply a pretty day in the woods. I can do that :)
I did leave one thing out. Morgan and I have friends who have been doing great work in Haiti for the past year, and were on the ground when the Earthquake shook all their lives out of all control. We wanted to support them and keep awareness up for that desperately poor area of the world, and how even 5 months after it happened, they would need our support and prayers.
There were many times that I felt tired, sore, light-headed, and ready to take it easy, and thought about all the time we had trained, but also the daily struggle of those less fortunate, especially in Haiti, where the devastation has hit us in a more personal way. So, we kept going.
To me, that was an important lesson, and the prevailing one in this whole process. There is good and bad, love and hurt, pain and joy, all through life. But what is the thing we stick our identity to? Where do we send all of it? Do we accept the good runs and great times from the Lord, and not the steep hills and tweaked knees? The good weather and peppy mornings, but not the pouring rain and 12 inches of snow?
No my friends, we take it all, just like Jesus took it for us. We always see the Phillipians 4:13 verse I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me but how can we as followers of Christ miss what precedes this iconic verse? Verses 11 & 12 read I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.
For runners, I know what it is to run fast, and I know what it is to run slow and in pain, in great weather and in the pouring rain. I have learned the secret of being content on any and every run, whether having many gels or low on water, whether running for medals or just the morning sunrise.
So Rockmont family, these are some of the hopes we strive to pass on to your sons. That no matter the circumstances, God is enough for them. The 50k was wonderful and challenging for many reasons, just like life. To set a goal, work hard, and complete the task was great (that 3 step process is a whole other post!) and it will not be the last we do.
I encourage you to ponder in what ways God has blessed you, and in what ways he may be teaching you to be content with less. It is a gift worth passing on.
Here is a picture of us after the race, and no, we’re not flashing gang signs, that’s 50 K in sign language.
May the Peace of Christ be with you,