I can’t do it.
Yes you can.
No, I really can’t!
Come on, you’ve got this.
NO, I’m serious, just leave me. Go on without me.
Stop talking and let’s go.
I mean it, I can’t take one more step
Courtney, you have 1 mile left. Pick up your feet, and RUN.
I know, this sounds like it could be from the script of a blockbuster Horror Movie! Just the title would make me nauseous with fear THE HALF MARATHON…IN A HILLY CITY, CALLED… CHARLOTTE!!! Blech!
But, no, it’s not a really scary, terrifying movie, it is real life, and it’s MY real life. That conversation was one that happened between David, my husband, and I as we trekked the hilly terrain of Charlotte,NC
Side Note: We did this ½ with Dave and Kim Rhodes, and when Kim and I trained, we had 1 rule “Walk the hills”. Dumb, I know. While we were waiting for the starting gun, I overheard someone saying “Yea, this is the worst one on the entire circuit, there’s a 2 mile stretch that’s almost completely UPHILL” WHA?!?!?!
Okay, so as I was saying…things were going well, until about mile 9. And before you ask, the “runner’s high” is a myth, an urban legend that people use to get people LIKE ME, to keep going. It’s wrong…JUST WRONG! I’m convinced it doesn’t exist. So, about mile 9, I started to notice that my skin was getting chalky, and…well…this wasn’t fun anymore! Kim and I had stopped taking pictures at each mile marker, Rhodes was not laughing at anything, and David was trying his best to stay with the group. What started out as a jolly “lets go run a half marathon together” team, was now taking its toll. So, I told them to go on (see above conversation with David), but they wouldn’t go. David even asked other runners for water for me (since the water stations were NOT every 2 miles, but every 5 Miles), he gave me his ipod when mine died. I was dying and was not motivated to do anything but quit.
And then David said the phrase that would forever change my perspective: Why don’t you slow your pace down a little bit?
Yep, that one little piece of advice, I would learn is actually the SECRET to being a good runner, and potentially a long distance runner. When it becomes too much, SLOW DOWN!
What do we do, when life becomes TOO MUCH? When we question, and borderline doubt, that “God will not give us more than we can bear”? What do we do?
Slow down your pace.
That’s it. Yes it is that simple.
If you ask a runner what to do if you cramp up or get tired, they will tell you “Just don’t stop”. Don’t stop moving, your muscles will tighten up, the lactic acid will start to set in, and it will just get harder to get going again.
Don’t stop, Slow down.
Keep moving; listen to the “Cloud of Witnesses” cheering you on. Watch as your family, who is hopefully running with you, gets you water and nourishment and encourages you. Lean in to the hills that you must climb. I think God is much more concerned with you finishing the race, than He is about the time you finish it. Slow down, but don’t stop.
And so, I did. I slowed my pace, to barely a crawl. My feet still felt like lead, and the salt was still drying on my skin. But I went on, we went on. And David, Dave & Kim, were beside me the whole time. This piece of advice, accompanied with community, is what made finishing possible. I did it, we did it, we accomplished a half marathon.
Slow Down. Don’t Stop. Don’t run alone.
I would have never finished if people weren’t with me. I’m not that strong, not that disciplined, and not that ethical!!! I would have veered off to the side and told myself “you did more than you thought you could!” But my running partners not only cheered me on, they ran with me, and they kept me accountable!
In this life, you will get more than you can bear…on your own. It is not a punishment, or a lesson to be learned, it’s life. And yes, you will grow and learn things, but that is because we serve a good and faithful God. But if you train well (Wisdom and Power), are willing to slow your pace down (forsaking pride) and refuse to go it alone (Covenant BEFORE Kingdom); you will finish. Because:
HE has begun this good work in you, and HE will be faithful to complete it.
Don’t stop, slow down….You’ve got this!
Courtney Reichley has blessed us with this bit of knowledge. Courtney and her husband David Reichley are a part of the 3DM team here in Pawleys. They have 4 awesome kids and are Spiritual parents to everyone here on the Wayfarer Team! We love them and are blessed to be able to do life with them!