|The course for the Chicago Urbanathlon 2013.|
Urbanathlon 2013 (click here).
I ran the race in a relay in 2010 and then completed the whole race in 2011 (click here), but since then, let's just say, I've 'fallen off the work-out wagon.' It's not that I'm terribly out of shape, it's just that I'm not nearly as strong as I used to be (way) back then.
And so, about a month ago, I made a plan and I ran.
I started with three miles and worked my way up to seven miles, pretty quickly.
I was encouraged (read -- pumped) until the second time I ran seven miles. It was then that hip pain settled in. A deep boring pain in both hips was my constant companion. Whether I was running or not, it was there. Walking, sitting, standing, lying down, I had pain.
I'll spare the details, but turns out (after seeing a professional) that I have weak hip and gluteal muscles. The pain is mostly due to 'other' muscles tightening to help compensate for weak ones. My compensatory hip muscles are over-firing, thus very tight, while the ones that should be strong, are terribly weak. Did I mention that I was in a lot of pain?
So, I was put on a running restriction and given a strengthening and stretching exercise program. In addition, the doctor offered to work on the tight areas to help give me relief of my pain.
It's not how I thought it would go.
Now, instead of racking up my miles and feeling good about myself for the accomplishments I make, I'm waddling back and forth across my family room with a blue resistance band strapped around my ankles, strengthening muscles that need to be strong. And I'm lying on the ground, stretching muscles that need to be relaxed.
It's not what I planned.
I've been thinking, it's not all that different from portions of my life.
Sometimes, it's not how I thought it would go.
It's not what I planned.
And God has other plans. I have weak areas, that I may or may not be aware of and I have tight areas in my life, that over-compensate for those weak areas -- defense mechanisms.
Instead of going the distance and working towards the goals in my own way, God grounds me and says, "No, we're going to do it this way. There are some ares in your life, my dear, that need to be strengthened and some areas that need to be stretched."
I don't like it. I like my orderly, organized plans that I can see and understand and check off with pride along the way. I like doing things my way.
I don't like going short distances with resistance bands wrapped around my plans.
But God knows the perfect plan.
I'm pausing on that point today.
God knows the perfect plan for my life and what it takes for me to run the race He has marked out for me.
I'm still hoping to run the Urbanathlon in October, and hopefully, I may even run it better, by slowing down now and focusing on the areas that need to be stronger and areas that need to be stretched.
And somehow, I'm thinking that is the case for me in some areas of my life. God knows what He is doing. He doesn't leave me on my own, but institutes an 'exercise and strengthening program' for my good, and He takes His Holy, healing hands, and works to give me relief, as well.
I may not understand why He does what He does or how He does it, but I am trying to trust His ways.