Obsessed with Speed

I have become a bit obsessed with speed lately.  Guessing that’s because I have none.

Let’s be real here.  Two weeks ago I got passed by a 55-yr-old couple out walking their dog.  Not passed by a teeny bit – fully passed.  Thank goodness I turned before I could see just how far in front of me they might get.  My 14-yr-old stepson can run darn close to 3 miles in the time I can run 1.  My time would have earned me an F- in high school gym class.

I’m starting to be pretty sure that I will indeed be the last “runner” to finish the 5K that is looming in less than 3 weeks.  Not a feeling I’m looking forward to.

I had a particularly hard run yesterday.  I made it 2 miles – which was my goal – but it felt TERRIBLE.  I thought my legs were going to fall off.  And it was my slowest run in a few weeks, and the previous ones were darn slow.

I realized that I’ve started to take my running a bit “for granted.”  Just a few weeks ago, I spent a lot of time in prayer before I set out.  I had several verses in my mind to repeat to myself throughout the run to keep me going.  I guess now that running has become somewhat of a habit, and the goals don’t seem so insurmountable (like the day I had to go from running 8 min at a time to 20 min at a time), I haven’t put the mental focus into it.

So yesterday when an article appeared on the Couch-2-5K FB page on mental training and focus, I knew I should click on it.  ( Maximizing… )

The first Principle of Focusing stopped me in my tracks:

1. Try to remain oblivious to the outside world. Orlick provides great examples of how well we are able to push ourselves when we are not aware that we are being “scored.” Ask yourself how things change for you when you realize people expect things out of you.

Once again, I find myself in the trap of worrying about others. Worrying about how I’ll look to them, how I’ll compare to them, what they’ll think of me.

I didn’t start “running” for anybody except God, and a bit for me.  HE put this path in front of me, and told me He had some things He wanted me to learn.  Part of it was about my physical health, but many larger parts were about my spiritual and mental health.  You can read about that in some of my previous posts.

So, I had to ask myself this – “Does God care about my speed?”

I couldn’t come up with any way to answer that question except for an emphatic NO.  He cares about my obedience.  He cares about where my heart is.  He cares about whether I’m listening to what He’s trying to teach me and to where He wants me to go.

And I suspect, within all of that, He’s also trying to teach me to quit thinking about what others are thinking and only care about Him.

And so I also have to ask myself in many other areas of my life (Bible study, relationships, serving in ministry, etc) – how would things change for me if I quit “scoring” myself against others and if I ignored people’s expectations of me, and how others change the expectations I have of myself?

Not a question I can answer today, but one I need to spend some time exploring.

Maybe I’ll do it on my next run when I try to push myself out of my comfort zone a bit.  Because although the numbers don’t matter, I know He asks us to give our all and sometimes – many times – that takes some discomfort.


2 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    Leanna ~ I’m so impressed with your commitment to this! Honestly, who cares about speed right now! You’re out there running! Woo Hoo!!! I know I’m a terrible looking runner…I’m not very fast, I pant, and I sweat like crazy! I love it that you see this as more than just a physical challenge, but a spiritual one as well. Way to go! ~ Kim

    • 2

      lgiltmier said,

      Thanks, Kim. It is getting especially hard. Probably posting about that today! It’s funny how God works~there’s no doubt that He called me to this to teach me some things spiritually.

      And trust me – I bet you look a lot better running than I do! 🙂

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