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…”