A newly ordained minister at Glide gave a beautiful sermon on Sunday. She told the story of a woman she knows named Georgina, who at 42 years old decided she was nearing “middle age” and better get fit! She fell in love with jogging and after 6-8 months decided to enter her first 10K race.
She woke up that morning a bit nervous and arrived at the race early to stretch and get warm. She was surprised at how many other athletes were already there, doing the same. Before she knew it, the race was beginning.
About 4-5 miles into it, she wondered why they weren’t looping back toward the finish line. When she stopped for a water break she asked someone. The person looked surprised and said, “Honey, you’re in the Cleveland marathon. You won’t be looping back for a while.” The 10K started in the same place, but much later. She was in the wrong race.
This was obviously alarming. “This isn’t the race I signed up for! This definitely isn’t the race I trained for!” and then she realized, “But this is the race I’m in, so I guess I better finish.”
She walked much of the way but finished all 26 miles. I am inspired by her faith, that she planted her feet firmly in the moment and forged ahead, even if it didn’t look like what she expected. How often we say to ourselves, “It shouldn’t be this way! and I wasn’t prepared for this!” and quit entirely.
My husband Matt has been training (with our friend Jeff) for the Davis Double Century in May. This is a 200 mile bicycle race in one friggin day! It would take me close to two centuries to complete it. But Matt has been training like a beast and surprising himself (and me) in the process.
He is learning that his physical limits exist, but are far beyond his psychological ones. He thought he was supposed to get tired after 30 miles or so, and therefore did, over and over again. But when he completed his first 70 mile ride, he realized that he doesn’t really get tired until much later. It’s as if getting tired was only a habit. Now he comes home every Saturday with a new report, “I did 70! I did 80! I did 100!”
He is my inspiration, my buddha of perceived limits. There are things I am afraid I can’t do. There are races I am running that I don’t feel qualified for. And he is reminding me, whispering in my ear, “It’s not time to loop back yet; you can do so much more than you believe…”
We have this saying: “when you think you can?t, you can twice more”. And it is true. Everyday one more sit up, one more kilometer …. even one more piece of chocolate and you win 🙂 just a joke about that chocolate :o)
it’s so true! i started taking swim lessons in my twenties. every time i try to go a little farther distance than i did before, my head gets psyched out about how impossible this new distance will be. but every time, i sucessfully swim it.
i think part of it is pacing. you can’t sprint a marathon or a 200 mile cycle, you’d wear out. you have to be smart with your energy.
funny how insights can line up unexpectedly..is that syncronicity?…when you hear just what you need to hear at just the right moment…or is it a blessing? either way I LOVE it when that happens!…I’m 43 and feeling the aging thing happening..I was just this very morning, realizing that my life is not a race, I do not have to “catch up” and that its ok to live my life one step at a time…eekk! sounds a bit trite when I write it like that…anyway, the 10k turned marathon story hit home…thank you..Fern
how interesting that the exact same beach binoculars are in california and maine AND we posted them online on the same day 🙂
thanks for sharing those stories, and thanks for your last paragraph! i needed that inspiration… i’m finishing up grad school applications right now, and am constantly fighting back little voices telling me perhaps it’s time to loop back…
what a perfect day to read this entry! i woke at 5:30 am to do a 30-minute bootcamp with a male trainer. 30 minutes sounds like a breeze, but when you are physically testing your limits, each second feels like an eternity. not only was it physically-taxing, it was also embarrassing as i fell twice and couldn’t lift the amount of weight he felt i should. at the end, as i crawled back home, i felt really accomplished that even though my inner voice was telling me to quit, i didn’t.
today, i have so much more respect for athletes – a sector of society that i have never related to or admired!
I think you and God have a little game going… he gives you beautiful things all around and you are not only finding them, but sharing them. I bet he’s up there smiling right now!
Thank you for such a beautiful story.It carried much depth and I’ve already e-mailed it out to several people. I look at your entries and pictures everyday. I used to live in SF and now live in Chicago. Your pics bring back many memories for me.
Thanks for such wonderful stories!
What a great & inspiring story.
Interesting also…. Last night I dreamt that I was biking across miles and miles and miles of what, in my mind, was Australian terrain. Along cliffs, under a thunderstorm, through the dessert sun, following the serpentine of a river and stunning beaches. I remember the beauty of it all and the exhilaration.
Occasionally I would pass through a town and I’d spot a family member or friend passing through. I made sure to avoid them by darting down a street to take me in the opposite direction. I was afraid they would stop me and tell me that what I was doing wasn’t safe.
Thank you for your words.
thank you andrea~
such a good and needed reminder…
you tell the most wonderful stories. thank you.
Oh… this reminds me of the time I signed up for what I thought was 8 miles or so Walk About El Paso. It turned out to be a half marathon with the first half up to an elevation of 5000 and the second half (thank the lord) all down hill. I walked up, and ran down. My dogs sure were hurting after!
Great story and I am SO loving all your new photo’s… Inspiring girl yes you are!