the treadmill

originally published May 19, 2011 at

I’m a huge fan of the couch potato to 5k running plan.  Such a huge fan that I’ve started it no less than a dozen times in the past three years.  I do enjoy the way that it allows you to slowly build up speed and endurance.  I’ve always been one of those people who steps on the treadmill before I hit the power button.  My pace increases with the speed of the belt which allows my body to slowly warm up to the idea that I am about to torture it for a few minutes.  (emphasis on few)  Can you see why me and the C25K program became quick friends?  The methodology I apply to running spills over into most things in my life.  I love to witness the beginning of a new thing and watch its momentum build.

While in Serbia I went to a gym with my dear friends (sisters) Lisa and Rachelle.  Rachelle has one of the deepest wells of natural athletic ability of any woman I know (So does her husband.  And yes, their children are beasts.).  Lisa is, without compare, the fittest forty year old I will likely ever know.  Seeing how I’ve been held back like a first grader who can’t read and repeated weeks one through four of the C25K program more times than I care to count, I had to muster up some serious guts to enter a gym with these two women.  Before you chastise me, I am fully aware of all the dangers of comparing my all to someone else’s all.  That being said, God does have a twisted sense of humor.  If you want proof of it, you don’t have to look at the fact that He created these two spaces in my life that can ONLY be filled by women that have reached fitness levels I only dare dream of.  Just google images of a duck-billed platypus. See. He has a twisted sense of humor.

As I prepared to leave the gym on the last day of our trip, Lisa was just getting on the treadmill.  It wasn’t until I was on the elevator that I began to process how she approached her run.  She stood on the sides, turned on the power, waited until the treadmill was moving at what I would consider a sprint speed, and jumped on in full running motion.  I’m pretty sure that a “Hmmph?” escaped my lips as I pondered the difference between her way of approaching the treadmill and my own.  That same morning, as I fought the urge to acknowledge the alarming noise that was filling our hotel room, Lisa bounced out of bed. I rolled over and watched in awe at how wide awake she was within seconds of the alarm.  I had a video montage playing in my head of the exact same scene.  The montage consisted of glimpses of mornings that followed late night giggles and tears.  There were many of those mornings for the two of us between the ages of 13 and 20.  No matter how late we stayed up, Lisa always hit the ground running.

In most conversations surrounding our trip to Serbia, I stated that “this is a foundational trip.”  To be honest, I wasn’t quite sure what that meant.  What I did know is that I kept hearing the words “foundational trip” and “foundational journey” when I prayed or meditated over our purpose.  Today I began processing exactly what those words meant.  Very quickly my thoughts went to the two very different approaches that Lisa and I have to approaching a treadmill.  It only took a few seconds for me to realize how important it is to have people who take both approaches when it comes to walking out God’s plans. This first trip (it is inevitable that many will follow) was indeed a foundation for a journey.  I LOVE witnessing the foundation of things and watching as those things pick up momentum.  Once those things pick up momentum, they will not succeed without people who are willing to jump on the treadmill at a sprinting speed.

Because I broke all the rules concerning comparison in my little treadmill thought journey, I felt the need to see what God’s view was on the matter.

1 Corinthians 9:24-25

Don’t you realize that in a race everyone runs, but only one person gets the prize? So run to win!  All athletes are disciplined in their training. They do it to win a prize that will fade away, but we do it for an eternal prize.
1 Timothy 4:7-8

Have nothing to do with godless myths and old wives’ tales; rather, train yourself to be godly.  For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come.

It just so happens that God really doesn’t care so much about how we approach life’s treadmill.  He just wants us to get on it, spiritually armed (saturated in The Word and covered in prayer), and focused on the goal.


2 thoughts on “the treadmill

  1. Pingback: c25k | Waving a White Flag

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