Monday, December 6, 2010

Worst Decision Ever....

Let's back up to July....

I got an email from David Montague encouraging residents to sign up for the 2010 St. Jude Marathon in December. I had been feeling dissatisfied with my body, and decided this is the motivation I needed to start exercising. It worked for about 2 1/2 months. I went running at least 3 times a week and was working up my mileage... but then the life of a teacher happened. I began working super long hours and was unable to run anymore.

However, something crazy came over me this past Thursday when I got a text from David asking if I wanted him to pick up my packet for the race I had signed up for in July. I decided I wasn't going to let school stand in the way of my social life any longer. I had to follow through with this commitment.

Saturday morning I woke up bright and early and headed to Autozone Park. I didn't have a clue what I was doing. I was running on 5 hours of sleep, ate a heavy dinner, and didn't even have the pins to pin on my bib. I had to ask a stranger how to do it. I also had no clue what a D-tag was and how to put it on. I aimlessly wondered out to the starting line and stood waiting to see anyone I knew. I finally found some MTR kids. I stood around pretending that I was pumped when really I was terrified. I began having flash backs to 6th grade Cross Country. I hated 6th Grade Cross Country, but if there was one thing my mom and dad taught me from that was to not quit once you've committed. I was committed.

It was brutal. Around mile 2 I made a friend with a woman that was an expert on half-marathons/marathons. I was so impressed with her knowledge. She is the one that helped me through. She walked with me even when I couldn't walk at a faster pace than a crawl and beat me to the finish line just so she could be there waiting for me.

This half-marathon quickly became one of those moments where the Lord reminded me of my place. As I rounded the first mile and a half I began to feel the pain. I was thinking I was crazy for even thinking about doing something like this. Then I came down the hill down to riverside drive, and I saw thousands (and I mean thousands) of people that were going before me, paving the way. Tears immediately came to my eyes as I realized the reality of this in the world... Thousands of people have done life before, and as I make my way through life I will have people on the side cheering me on, people walking beside me to encourage me and help me make it through. So here I am tearing up with each step I take, and I continue running until around mile 7 1/2.

Around that mileage, my feet began developing terrible blisters. My meniscus was also beginning to pull and felt like it's going to break on me at any moment. I slowed down and began to walk. The further I went the more painful it became. Soon I was in tears not because of this profound revelation, but because of the pain I was experiencing. Every muscle, every step.. I was limping by this point. People were giving me crazy looks, because of the amount of pain they could see on my face. Then I had the realization that this is how I should be at the end of life. Exhausted, hurting, broken, and humbled. Needing mercy and grace. The amount of relief I felt as I stumbled through the finish line was almost unbearable. I was so choked up I was unable to talk.

After taking a few pictures with my friend I made in the race, she escorted me to the medical center. A nice student nurse treated my blisters (that covered the pads of my feet), and my friend Jessica and her family came down to check on me. I finally got some food, got something to drink, and my swelling finally got better after a few hours. I walked home and soaked in the tub.

The last few days have been extremely painful. I pulled almost every muscle in my body. I have trouble walking because of the blisters on the bottom of my feet, as well as my pulled leg muscles. Making this the worst decision I have ever made, but I wouldn't trade it. It felt like I was given the opportunity to bear a physical burden and have my eyes awakened to the life that Christ calls us to live. Victory through the hard things.


  1. Man Christian, this is so good, I think I could cry. not kidding.
    So revelatory.
    Life should be an amazing race that though it is difficult we keep running, encouraged by the "great cloud of witnesses" who have done life before. All we have to do is look up to see that cloud- the big crowd cheering us on -rather than looking at our sore feet and focusing on our throbbing muscles. Even still, rather than getting resentful and bitter about the difficulty of the race, which you could have done, or wallowing in the regret of entering the race, you looked up and you finished.
    Word. Thanks for the encouragement. I needed it.