"Therefore … let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.” (Hebrews 12:1).I fanned open my bible to Hebrews 12 and read the verse. It is a familiar one to me. I’ve read it, leaned on it and had often done so.
Right before the race (Urbanathlon Chicago 2011) (click to see the course -- 10 miles and 7 urban obstacles through the city of Chicago) I tucked it away in my in my mind. The thing is, I knew that I needed it.The race set before me that day was a physical one. I trained. I ran. I applied BioFreeze to my sore muscles and foam rolled tight muscles frequently. I was ready, physically, but it was the negative self-talk that was weighing me down.
I have issues with this problem, not just when I run a race, but in life. Like cockroaches in the dark, words of negativity about myself scurry around, creeping me out and keeping me back.Words like …
You’ll never finish.You’re not strong enough.
Who do you think you are?
Why do you even bother trying?You’re just going to disappoint yourself – and worse, yet, others.
I don’t know where they come from or how they get in, but suddenly, there they are. Like I said, creepy.So, as I worked up to and stepped up to the starting line a couple of weeks ago, I clung to this verse.
Throw off everything that hinders – all the NEGATIVE SELF TALK – and run the race marked out for you.I’m still reliving some of the moments of the race, and still smiling.
My goal was to finish the race – finish the race with a smile on my face for my kids – and I did.
|That's me in the middle, getting a boost from below, over the last obstacle -- the 8 foot wall.|
|Over a police barricade near the beginning of the race. I was still feeling fresh ...|
|That's me in the lime green, getting ready to crawl over the bus.|
|I'm making my way through the mud, and over a taxi ...|
AND I had fun. I ran with courage and strength, determined to do my best. I persevered and stepped on a few cockroaches of negative self-talk along the way (can you hear the crunch? I know – gross!), as I climbed over police barricades, slopped through mud and made my way over a city bus and taxi cabs. I enjoyed the scenery and I enjoyed the people that I chatted with along the way.
It was good. God is good for continually teaching me, transforming me in all things.I finished, and I’m proud of myself for taking on the challenge and conquering the race, but maybe even more so, overcoming the obstacle of my negative self-talk and facing my fears.