On November 28th, 2015, I had the privilege (or was crazy enough) to run the Seattle Marathon. This wasn’t my first marathon, so thankfully, I knew what to expect. Exhaustion, mind games, and pain in areas of my body I didn’t know existed.
All for the glory of what? You guessed it…a medal, an item crossed of my “To-Do” list, and a way to prove to myself I wasn’t in the grave yet.
Long story short, I should have stopped at 20 miles. I should have listened to my body when every step sent shooting pain through my left knee. But that, my friends, is a blog for a different day.
I didn’t stop until I crossed the finish line. And I didn’t run again until April 20th, 2016. And just like that, my body went from being in “marathon” condition to splashing around in my hot tub. Instantly, my body had my attention. I had no choice but to get “super excited” over stretching. (Many of you can completely relate right now.)
But I learned an amazing lesson I already knew, but didn’t know. Confused? Hang with me, my point is coming.
You see, working out on the elliptical at the gym, I noticed a sign for the first time since my injury. It said,
“Strong First”. And through the word was a picture of a cross.
Without even realizing what I was doing, I stopped moving and just stared at it. A sign I had seen so many times before had instantly taken on a whole new meaning. I had learned this precious lesson through Jacoby’s accident, watching her go through the devastating effects of breaking her neck. She had remained resilient not because of her physical strength, but because of her spiritual and mental strength.
I had to ask myself the question….if I was unable to run anymore, unable to work out anymore, unable to remain physically fit anymore…would I still be able to carry on with a positive outlook on life?
Jacoby had lived out what I was personally learning now. The mind rules the body, the body doesn’t rule the mind. Some of the strongest people are not the ones who can run the fastest or furthest. They are not the ones who can lift unbelievable amounts of weight. They are the ones who have learned to stay positive and find hope in any circumstances life throws their way. They are the ones who have and are fighting cancer, spinal chord injuries, muscular dystrophy, diabetes etc.
They are the ones who have lost their homes, their jobs and precious loved ones, yet keep getting up every morning.
My friends, I want to be strong. Are you strong?