Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Am I Dreaming?

You probably heard about the death of snowboarder and Olympic favorite, Sarah Burke. She died last week from a head injury after a fall while doing some flips in the air. Her friend and professional snowboarder, Gretchen Blielier, responded to the public by saying, “Keep waking up early to land those tricks you’ve been dreaming of, but only if it’s done with 100% passion, pure fire, discipline and commitment.”

That struck a chord with me. That’s why Sarah and Gretchen were champion snowboarders. It was more than a hobby to them. They dreamed about it. They lived it wholeheartedly. And Sarah Burke risked everything for her dream.

This has spurred me to ask myself some questions. I encourage you to ask them of yourself as well. What do I wake up early to do? What fills my waking hours? What do I dream about? What do I envision myself doing? Who do I envision myself becoming? What holds me back from my dream? Is it lack of passion? Lack of discipline? Lack of commitment? Is my vision coming true or is it fading like a nighttime dream upon awakening? Finally, what would others say I am passionate about?

I love to run. I think about it. I read about it. I talk about it. I set goals for my running. I even envision myself running certain races and setting a personal best. I would say I am passionate about running. It is a part of who I am.

I also love God. I think about him. I read about him. But do I talk about him with the same exuberance and openness with which I talk about running? Do I daydream about and put into action ways to know him better? Am I passionate about the One who loves me passionately? Does my relationship with God define me, or do I methodically check off a religious to-do list so I can focus on other things I am truly passionate about?

I am inspired when I see or hear about others who are passionate about a sport or a cause. Their devotion is especially apparent when they risk losing their lives to fulfill their dream.

For me, dying while running is a much better option than a lot of other ways to die. But what about giving it all for God? Do I give him my all, even if it means losing my life for him? What about looking like a radical? Do I wake up eager to spend time with him? Do I pursue him with 100% passion, pure fire, discipline and commitment?

I want to.

Monday, January 9, 2012

On the Road Again!

Today was almost three months to the day that I hadn't run due to a stubborn case of plantar fasciitis. Not only have I abstained from running, I have stretched the fascia, rolled my foot on a golf ball, worn KTtape, taken anti-inflammatories, even gotten a steroid injection. The thing that seemed to really help, or maybe it was the missing ingredient to the mix, was the Strassburg sock, loaned to me by a friend. You wear it at night, and it keeps the ankle at a 90 degree angle with the toes bent slightly toward the shin, which prevents the fascia from contracting and then re-tearing the next morning when you step out of bed. Wearing it is a bit awkward, but it works!

But today was the day! I've had it written on my calendar for a few weeks. Finally, I ventured out this afternoon and ran a whole...mile and a half! It was short but oh, so sweet! I wanted to run farther but have been following doctor's orders, so am easing into it. It occured to me while running, that my past three months of working out (cycling, swimming, ellyptical) minus the running, have seemed much like a BLT sandwich...minus the bacon. Something very important has been missing, and I am so grateful to be adding it back into my life.

It felt good to get out on the open road and let my feet feel the pavement again. The air was chilly and the sky was gray, but I was running and it was wonderful. I actually did a little happy dance. Kind of like the one that Tevya did on Fiddler on the Roof. No, really...I did.

I was thinking about the fact that I am a runner. It's not just something I do, it's something I am. I could live without it, but sure don't want to. I would feel a huge loss if I could never run again. Just three months off was tough, and that was with the expectation of running in the near future. I want to appreciate even more, my ability to run; to be active. So many people don't have that privilege. In fact, I want to be more mindful of all the blessings I have, and instead of taking them for granted, I intend to be more grateful!