If you have been following my blog at all, or if you just glance at the last few posts, you will know that running has recently become a big part of my life....and I love it! I am preparing to run a 2 mile run on Thanksgiving morning and this past week I really started my running.
The past few weeks I have devoted to building up my leg muscles by doing lunges, squats, and various exercise to help prep me to be a better runner.
Then Tuesday night, my friend from my ward, Beth Ann Wright, and I did our first night of running and walking.
We are trying to build up our endurance and stamina, so we only jog short distances, then walk, then jog some more.
It was a little tough at first, but I loved it!
There is just something about running that I can't explain!
I think one thing I love is that it is a great stress reliever!
I have been quite overwhelmed with things lately, and it is incredible to feel all the negative energy release from your body!
Anyway, on Thursday night we went again and it was even harder to get into it.
But once we did, we were able to run even more than we did on Tuesday.
We choose different things, like a tree or a sign, to set goals to run to.
The goals we were setting were farther than Tuesdays goals, and we did a lot more of them.
It was amazing to be able to accomplish them, especially the dreaded uphill!
But we were able to do it to the best of our ability.
That night I realized, I was only able to reach the goals when I stayed focused on it. It was very hard at times because my body screams at me that it is tired, and I have to focus on my breathing so I don't get winded.
With all that going on, it is so easy to forget about the goal and to focus on the other things, like how tired I am.
That results in me not finishing the designated running stretch, which did happen a couple times.
But it was incredible to me that the times I was able to keep my eye on the goal I was able to have extra strength.
Suddenly the running stretch didn't seem so far and my body didn't hurt as bad.
My thoughts were able to turn to "I am almost there," instead of "How much longer?"
It was a great lesson to me!
I have been thinking about that a lot since Thursday night...which is interesting because it was also talked about in Sacrament meeting today!
It caused me to think about the goals in my life.
It seems like when I set them, it is so easy to keep sight of them and use them as my motivation to build up to them.
However, almost every time without fail, I put those goals in the back of my mind.
I let other things get in the way, and then it causes me to doubt myself.
The trivial things become the focus, leaving me feeling like my goals are unreachable.
As I was reading over past blog posts, I realized that I have been in that stage lately. Not too long ago, I had my goals set and was so gung-ho about accomplishing them, and had a plan to accomplish them!
However, these last few weeks have been nonstop crazy!
It hasn't been all bad crazy, just a lot of craziness that have caused me to lose sight of my goals and actually start to doubt some of them!
I am grateful for the lessons I've through running to keep me on track.
On Friday morning as I was getting ready for work, this song came on my iPod.
Go the Distance by Michael Bolton!
I have heard this song many many times!
I used to watch the movie, Hercules, all the time and rewind this song over and over again.
I love it!
Also, when I was 15, I had the opportunity to do a dance program for our Young Women's New Beginnings program.
There were 4 boys and 4 girls and we spent many weeks working with my young women's leader to learn dances to various Disney songs.
My leader and her husband sang the songs, and changed the lyrics to fit for each of the young women's values.
This was the last dance we performed, and it was by far my favorite!
Not only did I love the dance, but I loved the message of this song.
My leader changed the words slightly to be more fitting to us and our journey back to Heavenly Father.
Anyway, I mention that because as I was listening to this song, and thinking of my running experience, I remembered back to doing that dance and the song.
It really hit me that not only did my thought of keeping focused on the goal apply to running and the others I set in my life, but it also applies to my ultimate goal of Eternal Life.
This song is so perfect for that.
I want to have a "hero's welcome" from my Heavenly Father someday.
I love the imagery of the first part of the song-
"I have often dreamed of a far off place, where a hero's welcome will be waiting for me. Where the crowd's will cheer when they see my face, and a voice keeps saying this is where I'm meant to be."
I just love that and can only imagine how amazing it will be to return to Heavenly Father after "going the distance" through life and doing the best I can!
That gives me great hope!
"I know every mile [of this sometimes seemingly impossible journey] will be worth my while!"
Just hearing that song really caused me to stop and realign my focus in life.
I realized that if I keep that focus of returning to Heavenly Father, I will be able to go the distance.
It won't always be easy, but it will be an extra strength to help carry me through! What a great blessing that is!
I often find myself as Paul.
As he kept his focus on Christ, he was able to walk on water!
However, as he looked down and started to fear, he was unable to.
But Christ was still there to lift his faith!
So many times in my life, I look down and fear!
When I really shouldn't!
I am thankful for the Gospel in my life and the strength it gives me!
This is my new motivational picture for when I lose sight and feel down:
"It's an uphill slope, but I won't lose hope. Till I go the distance and my journey is complete!"
"I don't care how far, I can go the distance. Till I find my hero's welcome, waiting in your arms!"