The Race

As I think about life over the last 6 weeks I am reminded of running a ½ marathon. Stay with me……

I have participated in several ½ marathons and no matter what number it is, I am always nervous and anxious before the start of each race.

Once I find my pace at about mile 2 or 3, nervousness is replaced with rhythm and a greater since of peace that lasts until about mile 7 or 8. At this point of the race my adrenaline has slowed down, I am checking in with my body to identify how it’s holding up, and I become very aware that I am still about 6 miles out from the finish. It would be easy to say to myself, “I’m about over this!”

If I adopt this attitude, I can be guaranteed it’s going to be a tough rest of the way…. so this is the time when I reflect back on my training and remind myself that I can do this. I also remind myself that I want to finish strong and the finish line will come and….. oh, what a celebration it will be when I cross.

All of these mental exercises are important, but I have discovered something else is important too. The people around me! My friend beside me and others close by who continually encourage me, and I them. The many people standing on the side of the race path with their cheering, cowbells ringing, waving their encouraging posters and their words that remind me, “I can do this!” Then there are the water stops and the people holding out cups of cold refreshing water and Gatorade to keep me and my body hydrated. And if I’m really lucky, there are people passing out sugary gummy snacks or cookies to re-energize my body. Finally, there is my pacer up ahead, holding a sign and yelling encouragement continually so I don’t get lost, or lose my pace or the determination to keep running the race!

Yes……it’s the people. We all need a support system.

People who encourage us when we are feeling nervous and overwhelmed by the news and the “what ifs.”
We need good listeners in our lives who will love and support us no matter our thoughts and feelings and help us remember that we have what it takes to keep running the race of life despite whatever lies ahead.
We need people who will encourage us when we start to believe we can’t go one step further and it looks like there’s no end in sight.
We need pacer people in our lives that take our hand and help us stay on the course and keep us moving forward toward the finish line.
We need people who lovingly remind us that the finish line will come eventually and as we search for the new normal, we won’t have to do it alone!

For the last week I’ve had several conversations with clients, neighbors, and friends and more times than I can count, I have heard the words, “I’m about over this!” “This” being all the uncertainties of our current state of the pandemic.

But I have also heard positive stories about how this time has helped people tackle long overdue projects, have made them appreciate the simple things in life, have made them slow down and enjoy life and their family by watching movies, playing games together, taking long walks, and having great conversations.

Which scenario do you find yourself living today?

Who do you need in your life to remind you that you can do this?
How can you be helpful to someone struggling in the race of life?
What is one step you can take today to help you or someone else continue running this race?

Be encouraged today…..
“Give what you want to receive and work on becoming the person you want to attract”
-Courage to Change

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