Monday, March 16, 2009

"I got an "F" on that test!"-NOLA Pt. 3

Time has gone by so fast this year already. I had plans to have this one written a month ago but "life" got to me. So here it is and I am so happy to have had this opportunity.

I had been training for the New Orleans Mardi Gras Marathon over the past six months and as time drew near the more excited I became.

I had to do a 20 mile run as a part of my training. I asked a friend to run that with me and she, with no hesitation, did. We had an interesting but fun run that day. It had been a while since my friend and I had ran together and the fellowship was amazing. After 10 miles of running, we made a short turn and was preparing ourselves to finish out the rest of the 10 miles. At the moment we made the left turn I felt a tug on my right knee cap. It began to throb and pain shot up under my knee. With grace given by my friend, we "walked it out." She was patient with me and ran at my pace. I was in pain the whole 10 miles back.

I went to church the next day and the sermon was, "Are you ready to fail in order to succeed?" It was a list of people who failed many times before actually succeeding at something. The pastor asked us, "Are you willing to do that for Jesus?" I agreed I was ready.

Later on in the week I ended up having a dream of trying to complete the marathon but I strayed off the path. My friend in the dream asked me, "Are you willing to fail in order to succeed?" and went back and began running but woke up before I got to see the finish line.

My knee didn't feel any better and I ended up going to a physical therapist. For 1 month I got treatments on my knee, which they diagnosed as "Runner's Knee." The pain went away in my right knee after doing what I was supposed to do but began having problems in my left knee. This time it was a different pain.

The P.T. gave me the approval to run but to slow way down and just enjoy it. That was a relief to me because that is what I had planned to do.

Here it is the night before the run. Jeremy and I were talking about the run and how it was going to feel completing another marathon. He was getting me all pumped up and then he said it, "if you don't finish tomorrow, it will be okay." I instantly got frustrated and asked, "why do you say that?" He said, "well I just wanted you to know that even the elites know their body and quit if they have to. That's why they are elites." I instantly remembered my dream but shrugged it off because I was going to finish.

I woke up the next morning excited to get the day going. I had no idea what was going to happen but I knew either way, God was going to be there.

We started out running and it was amazing! Running down Bourbon Street and seeing the sights. Some of those sights were drunken tourists. Yelling with what they had left in them for us to keep going and not give up.

When I got to mile 8, which came quickly, I was beginning to feel a little ache behind my left knee cap. I prayed for God to take my mind off of it and continue to run but I heard a voice that said, "you are not finishing this one." I actually laughed at that inside and asked, "what do you mean I am not finishing this one? I'm okay, I will finish." I continued to run only to find myself slowing down with each mile. My knee was done. When I came up to the half marathon portion, I heard God say, "you can turn off here, it's okay." My pride stood in the way. I could not cross the half marathon line with my marathon bib, people would see. What would they think? I continued to run.

I crossed my half way mark and the throbbing became unbearable. Sharp pains that shot all the way up my leg and it became too difficult for me to run. One of my really good friends texted me at that very moment, saying "YAY YAY WENDY!!! GO GO GO!!!" I really tried to keep going but I had nothing left.

So I did something I had never done before and that was quit. Sure in our minds we all "quit" at some point but I REALLY felt the feeling of "quitting." I stopped at 17 miles and I called Jeremy. I told him how sorry I was and that I was a loser. He quickly told me, "you are my hero no matter what." I was then released of the title I had given myself.

Limping back to the car, lots of things raced through my head. I was trying to figure too many things out but one thing kept coming back to mind. "Are you ready to fail in order to succeed?"

I was a little angry at that question at the time it came to mind but after letting it sink in, I agreed that I was ready.

After all that had happened with my knee the physical therapist determined that it could be a torn meniscus (?). She told me to take it easy, run for fun, and no long distances for a little while. If it didn't heal on it's own they would send me for a scan.

I think that is how it is in life. The thought of failure makes us nervous. What would they think? Will I ever get it back? Why does this have to happen?

I guess I can only think of a reasons for God to purify and perfect us. It was so hard going through the "quitting" motions and humbling myself to tell others, when all along they have rooted me on. I had to realize they were/are still rooting me on. Not just with running but with life.

I am still learning God's ways. I am sure I will miss the mark again for what He is revealing to me but my desire is to fully lay it down for Him to see that I AM "willing to fail in order to succeed!"

F-Faith-2 Corinthians 5:7

A-Ambition-Philippians 2:3

I-Inheritance-Revelation 21:7

L-Love-Psalm 36:5

If failure comes in the form of an "F" then I guess I failed but I am going to keep taking that test until I get an "A."