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Posts Tagged ‘cheerleader’

It’s the Friday before Christmas and I’m swamped with a to-do list longer than any naughty-or-nice list Santa’s looking at today. Which means – how do I blog AND get my other stuff done. Came up with this: Friday’s Five. I’m offering five quick “what I’ve learned in my six decades of life” tidbits of wisdom. Take it or leave it.

  • Try new things.

We all get stuck in routines. Routines are absolutely necessary but occasionally, get out of your personal rut and try something new. A new route to work, a new restaurant, a new item at your old restaurant, a new coffee shop, a museum you’ve never visited, give blood for the first time, ring the bell for Salvation Army’s Red Kettle campaign, walk a new path, take a vacation to a different destination. These are all new things I’ve tried in the last five years. A couple of those new things have become new routines (I give blood every 8 weeks, and ring that little bell every Christmas) and I’m always looking for something else to try to push my comfort boundaries.

  • Don’t eat meat with an expired date.

Seems like a no-brainer, right? Maybe I should have said, “check the expiration date of any meat product before consuming.” No explanation necessary. Live and learn. At least I lived, though I felt like death warmed over for a while.

  • Visit national, state, and county parks as much as possible.

img_3853My brother and sister-in-law took me to my first national park in September of 2016. And my second. And my third. All in the space of three days. That whirlwind tour was life-changing. God is out there, people. Check out His creation in the wide open spaces. Or the deep dark forests. Or the windswept prairie. Or the little path through the woods. I will never be the same. I will never view God the same. I’ve thanked Alan and Victoria multiple times, but I can never express adequately what that trip meant to me.

  • Watch someone else’s kids play sports, perform in a play, or sing/play in a concert.

We all love our own kids best. It’s natural. But there is something so wonderful about cheering for other people’s kids. They light up. Their parents light up. Everyone needs a cheerleader – be one for someone else’s children. And it will change YOU.  Love for others grows your heart.

  • Go without occasionally.

If you have enough money to purchase whatever you want, don’t. Live with less. Say “no” to that voice- the one that says, “you must have this.” Give yourself a day or two – find out if that thing you so desire on Friday is still necessary on Monday. Show your kids that living with less can be freeing, gratifying, enjoyable. Stuff clutters. And I’m still working on this one.

Have a wonderful weekend!

 

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Finish Well

I ran another 5k last weekend. It wasn’t very fun…at least not the running part. It was hot and already 100% humidity at 8 a.m. One of my good friends was running also. Alanna’s a different class of runner than I am. She loves the long stuff…8-10 mile training runs are nothing for her. She’s a beautiful and godly woman who I have known for over 10 years. When we first met, Alanna was very shy and quiet. She was hesitant to share her opinion, but very willing to help in any way. She’s a great wife and mother and in recent years, has grown into leadership abilities I would guess she never thought she had.

On Saturday I noticed her confidence. She has found her place and she walks in it with assurance. She has grown and matured and, though she’s still quiet, she isn’t afraid to speak up and share her advice and encouragement.

We had a nice time getting reacquainted prior to the start of the race but I knew once the race began, I would be eating her dust. And I was totally ok with that!

The race began and I took off at my normal pace…slow. The weather conditions were ugly. I’ll take running in rain or snow over heat and humidity any day. The route was well marked but I knew I was in trouble when I had to stop and walk at the first mile mark. Though I’m not fast, I can usually run the whole 3.2 mile distance. But by mile two, I was struggling to run more than a half mile at a time. I knew my time was shot but I was moving forward and making little goals along the way.

I always have my run app going through my phone so every half-mile I’d hear the app’s voice tell me how far I’ve gone, how long it’s taking me and my pace. It helps me realize how far I have left to go. At mile three I knew I only had two-tenths of a mile and I was determined to gut it out. There was a turn in the course ahead of me so I assumed the finish line was just around the corner. Then I saw my friend Alanna coming toward me. She met me saying, “I’m going to run you in.” It was then I realized I had further to go than I thought. As we turned the corner I saw more than a quarter mile left to go.

I can’t describe how discouraged I became at that moment. Physically I really didn’t think I could do it. I knew I could walk it in, but Alanna was running alongside me and, to be honest, I didn’t want to disappoint her. I wanted to finish well…or as well as I could. I felt sick, my legs were rubber, I was panting, almost gasping, and sweat was dripping in my eyes. I was literally “a hot mess.” But I prayed “God, just get me home,” and with Alanna’s verbal encouragement and physical presence, I dug a little deeper and ran across the finish line.

My time was awful – but that wasn’t the important lesson. Here are my takeaways:

  • Train hard. It’s the everyday journey through life that prepares you for those sudden races that occasionally pop up.
  • Run your own race. It doesn’t matter where you are in comparison to other runners. You are the best “you” there can ever be. Be good with it.
  • Don’t believe the voice in your head. Keep your eyes and ears on the truth. My app was “off” on the distance of the 5k and I had put my whole mindset on its veracity. When I realized I had more to go, I was so discouraged. Run using the sign posts along the way – the Word of God is your sign post. Let it be your training manual for your own race.
  • Lastly, and most importantly, when you are confident and secure in your race, go back and encourage someone else along the way. Alanna’s voice and presence brought me in. Without her, I probably would have dropped back to a walk which was a failure in my mind. Be the coach, cheerleader, mentor, leader – whatever term you prefer – to bring others along toward their finish line.

The times we live in are getting hotter, tougher, harder…We need each other so we can all finish well.

By the way, I got first place in my age division…I was the only one in it! One more life lesson: There are no other runners in your race. As long as you show up and finish, YOU WIN!

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