I recently began running again after almost a year off due to the pandemic. I am a new runner. I started in 2018 and have run a few races, including a half marathon. When I started I could barely run a quarter of mile without feeling like a lung was going to fall out of my body, so when I ran 13.1 miles (well, 13.84 miles, the course was off #humblebrag), I couldn’t believe I had come so far.

Fast forward to 2021, and I feel like I’ve never run. EVER. In my life. I’m slower, I’m tired, and it is hard. I just want to wave a magic wand and go back to where I was this time last year. 

But I can’t. And sometimes, that’s discouraging. I looked at the numbers from my half-marathon and saw that my slowest mile of the 13+ plus miles was still faster than my current mile! I had to make a decision: Give up and just live in the past or keep moving and get better everyday.

I chose the latter. 

I was reminded of a verse in Philippians about what I was experiencing. The people who know me well know that I have a verse for everything! There’s no situation I’ve come across where I was unable to find comfort and guidance in the Bible.

Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead,  I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. (PHIL 3:13-14)

While it can be helpful to look back from time to time to remember and reflect, it is not always beneficial. It’s easy to get trapped in the mistakes or failures from years ago or envy a better time of your life. But the apostle Paul would tell us not to waste time on things that don’t propel us to our destination.

When I looked at my racing numbers through a different lens, I was encouraged to know that since I trained and got better before, I could do it again. And I could do it better. What’s in front of you is going to be better than what’s behind you.

We all go through ups and down but what matters is whether or not we move forward through them. Don’t allow yourself to get trapped in the closet of the past. Put one foot in front of the other and run your race.

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