Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Recapping the Race

(I interrupt the current programming  -- The Little Girl Within Series -- to bring to you a recap of my race.)

The early morning was crisp and clear as the city of Chicago woke up to the energy of nearly 8,000 participants radiating waves of excitement through the air.  Urbanathlon 2010 sat perched at the starting line.
Slotted for the third leg of the relay, I, along with two of the men on our team (Underground Functional Fitness), headed out by bus to the drop off point, just south of McCormick place, and settled in to a wait for our team members to come in to view and pass on the chip.
The guys left first. I eagerly jumped up and down waiting for Tami, the second leg team member for our women’s relay team.  Andrea (the other Andrea) led off on leg one, passed the timing chip to Tami, and now I would be wearing it to the finish line.  I was excited to see Tami swinging through on the monkey bars (strong and fast) and then scrambling on her belly under the net (at lightning speed). 
She handed off the timing chip to me, I strapped it on my ankle, and headed off at a comfortable, fairly fast pace, through the loading docks of McCormick Place. Runners passed one another like cars on a crowded highway, darting in and out, slowing down, speeding up.  
One mile in to the race, I approached the first obstacle course – the stairs at Soldier Field.  Up and down stairs and ramps I ran with the crowd, like ants at a picnic, focusing on the sweet relief of the finish line. Huffing. Puffing. Determined.
The stairs were far more intense than I had bargained for, but I tried to revel in the moment of being in a famous stadium;  I persevered, not letting fatigue deter me from my goal.
Once out of the stadium, I ran (despite my legs screaming, “Stop!”) along the course, trailing near Lakeshore drive, looking out over Lake Michigan. 
Eventually, the roar of the crowd gradually grew louder. I felt re-energized, knowing that the end was near.
I rounded the corner, approaching the last obstacle course arena, coming face-to-face with two rows of taxis a city bus and an 8 foot wall.  Tired, mildly sick to my stomach, but excited I leaped over taxi number one ...

and then hustled over taxi number 2.

My heart quickened at the sound of my families uproarious cheers, “Go Mom!”  I glanced over at them and smiled.  How could I not.  My fan club was just 10 feet away, screaming with enthusiasm – my family.
I hustled over the rope netting up one side of the bus and down the other,
and paused to take a deep breath and thwart a possible siege of throwing up, while evaluating the 8 foot wall.
“I didn’t come this far to not climb the wall,” I mumbled to myself, grabbing a hold of the rope, placing my feet on the wall in Spiderman fashion, and pulling myself up.
Within seconds, I was up and over and sprinted to the finish line, with every last ounce I had left.
In four words, “I had a blast.”  It was hard and totally outside my comfort zone, but I am so very glad that I did it! 
Someday, I will climb over the final wall and make my last sprint to the finish line.  I don’t know what it will look like, but as I recap the race of my life, in addition to relishing the joys, I trust that I will see the value of the obstacles and the purpose of the long stretches.
But for now, I am thankful that I ran this race. I am thankful for my team members. I am thankful for David Brown believing in me and helping me to become strong and healthy. I am thankful for my family cheering me on in this race -- and in life. And I am thankful for the Lord who is constantly showing Himself to me in all of life.
When you look back over the race of your life, what will you recap?

3 comments:

Fran said...

Andrea, amazing pictures of a phenomenal job well done! Thank you for posting these! I admire all the hard work and endurance to train for such an event!

Betsy said...

Good job, Andrea. What a picture of "pressing toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus!" (Phil 3:12-14) The Christian life has a lot of taxis, buses and high walls to climb over. Loved your pics!

Andrea @ Unfailingly Loved said...

Thanks, friends. I appreciate the encouragement and the support. I am very grateful that the Lord allowed me to have this experience. He is constantly reminding me that running the race with Him requires alot of patience, strength and grace -- all of which He is willing and able to give.

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