Friday Musings

My hiatus started out innocent enough. But as days flew by and seasons passed, I realized time can paralyze even the best-intentioned.

Which is where I enter stage … six whole months after my last post, back when I was riding high on my Patagonia marathon euphoria.

A half year later, and a lot less fit, there’s no time like the present to heave myself back on the horse and peck out some life lessons I’ve been thinking on recently.

It’ll be a bit clumsy as I attempt to transfer these from my head to the keyboard, but hey, even the tortoise crosses the finish line eventually. So here goes…
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On Top of the World … at the End of the World.

I was super stoked to come to Patagonia to run a marathon. But, I’ll admit, I wasn’t sure what to expect outside of lacing up my shoes, putting one foot in front of the other, and pumping my arms.

Here are a  few gems from the journey; pictures make a stronger case for a Chilean adventure than my words ever could.

Just how far is it from the U.S. Mainland to Chile? So far United Airlines actually serves you a hot meal.
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By the Numbers

4 days until the Patagonia Marathon.

342. That’s how many miles I’ve logged in preparation for Saturday’s race. Honestly, that doesn’t feel like enough.

160. That’s how many dollars I paid for my overpriced (?) backpack. I wanted to roll into Chile towing a traditional suitcase, but there seems to be an unspoken rule that if you’re traveling overseas, you must cart all your belongings around on your back. I don’t think it matters whether you’re summiting Everest or picking out trinkets in Prague. You gotta strap yourself in and suck it up like every other passport-carrying tourist bound for exotic lands. Fanny packs and Birkenstocks optional.
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Tethered Expectation

“… God raised up David as king. … ‘I have found David the son of Jesse to be a man after my heart, who will accomplish everything I want him to do.’” Acts 13:22

Life’s competitive. Especially in the nation’s capital where droves of smart, ambitious climbers come to conquer and leave their mark on the most powerful city in the world.

Unbridled ambition’s always ugly, and a little like musical chairs. Everyone’s terrified they won’t have a seat when the music stops, yet, the game wouldn’t be worth playing without winners and losers. Suck it, Sara, no chair for you!

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Excavation of the Soul

This morning I woke up unnerved. Like an anchor weighing heavy on my little soul, threatening to derail my morning before I’d even thrown off the covers and landed a foot out of bed.

So naturally, I reached for my phone and scrolled through my Instagram feed. Yep, more runners logging a bajillion miles in their underwear; too many friends sharing awkwardly intimate photos of their cats.

Luckily my second move was to grab my Bible. And like a perfectly-timed Jesus bomb, this scripture leapt off the page:

“… [H]e has reconciled you unto himself through the death of Christ … as a result he has brought you into his own presence, and you are holy and blameless as you stand before him without a single fault. But you must continue to believe this truth and stand firmly in it.” Colossians 1:22-23

I’ve been wrestling with these sentences all day long.

Can I be holy, blameless, without a single fault, YET still imperfect?

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My tailbone feels like it absorbed repeated blows from a sledgehammer. Welcome to 20 milers.

Let me be clear, I’m not breaking any records and I still get passed more than I’d care to admit. But, there’s something satisfying about having run for 3 hours before most people are rolling out of bed.

It was Labor Day, and I labored, so I feel glorious.

19 days until Patagonia Marathon.

The Contagion of Positive Momentum

“…[C]an create positive momentum in other parts of your life …”

Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot along these lines. So, it was a pleasant surprise when I received this note from my Bible app, reminding me that when we’re committed to chasing Jesus and following His plan, he’s faithful to mature us into the creatures he’s called us to be–in all areas of life. No matter where we start, no matter our deficiencies, peaks and valleys are part of the transformation process.

In a practical parallel, today’s 60-minute run totally sucked. I knew it would. My alarm chirped, I grunted. My legs are tired and two toenails are threatening to abandon ship. I knew I wasn’t up to running at the height of my ability. And I was right, my doubts were confirmed every. single. time. I stole a peek at the Garmin.

But not every day can be the #bestrunofmylife. Following the plan means some days will be better than others. My job is to surrender to it, slog through the valleys, and celebrate the peaks, work the process and remain confident that the plan will shape me into a better athlete.

Which brings me back to the truth shared in YouVersion’s email. Honestly, without the momentum that came from following through in one area of my life (sticking to my Bible-reading plan), I’m convinced it would be infinitely harder to break new trails in other areas.