Trepidation on the Track
To say that my last race in Greenfield, New Hampshire was a humbling experience is an understatement. My initial nervousness and determination to complete the 62 mile treacherous course quickly turned into fear and anxiety as the unfamiliar terrain began to catch up with me. Accustomed to running on rather flat topography, I wasn’t prepared to hop over logs, stones and creeks while running uphill on a mountainous course. With great reservation, I made the tough decision to drop out of this race at mile 40 as my legs literally began to stiffen to the point I was unable to bend my knees. My muscles and my body were maxed out.
Although my family has been supportive and encouraging, I have been deeply struggling with the decision to continue to race. Despite my willpower to keep running, my training has not been going as well as I’d hoped—my confidence is low, my legs feel dead, and I’m still suffering from fatigue. I’ve been wrestling with the idea that perhaps I need to cancel this next race. But, if I decided to cancel, would that be admitting defeat? Would this lead to a mindset to drop out of the next races too? What about my personal goal to overcome these next big races? These are the questions I ask myself as I consider my next steps.
As I work through these personal challenges, I am experiencing the Biblical lesson of humility. We are not to be self-absorbed, but rather, self-forgetful. We should not be consumed by anything that takes away from the things that are most important. Attaining our personal goals should not be at the expense of losing sight of our most precious priorities. “Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind let each of you regard one another as more important than himself; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others. Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men.” (Philippians 2:1-4).