I went for a run for the first time in a long while this evening. A mile and a half in, I had to drop my dog Bailey off at the house. She was dragging me down (a surprise for those who may know her energizer-bunny-esque energy). Heading back out to the street, I’d decided I wanted to run the next full mile. The last time I’d clocked myself on a mile run was…a few years ago.
So after downloading the Nike Run app and logging in to my old profile, good ‘ol Nike wanted me to confirm a few details. For starters, height: 5’9, check. Weight: 120lbs…uh, that’s not right! I was instantly reminded of my time in Colorado, where after adapting a healthier lifestyle, both food and exercise, I’d dropped an unhealthy 25lbs. A life full of stress and spiritual warfare was rough on my body the three and a half years I was there. It took moving out of the state to get healthy again. A little more than a year later, I’ve regained every bit of that healthy weight back (and I’m proud to say a little more).
I happily corrected the weight on the app, started my Tiësto run playlist, and took off. Two blocks down the street, I was feeling great. I was practically flying off the street curbs. I turned the first corner about three blocks, and hit on the gas pedal like I was a rally car coming down the last turn of a world championship. And that’s when a few years of not running caught up to me, and punched me right in the gut. I’m sure you all can recall that glorious feeling, when you’re not quite sure if you want to throw up, sit down, lay down, or just rewind the tape and not hit the ground running so hard. But, tonight was a different night. I’d made up my mind I wouldn’t stop running. I’d push through the pain, and the impeding muscle cramps afterwards, for the glory of finishing the mile, after all, it’s only a mile.
Half a mile in, things weren’t any better. Three quarters of a mile in is when I’d decided I would stop and walk out the last quarter mile…because it would be healthier to walk out the last quarter mile. Just as I was about to slow down, a thought came over me,
“no. you’re not gunna quit. i’m not quitting. i’m not quitting. i’m not gunna quit.”
Like something out of Hollywood, the beats in my headphones started jamming right about then, and I picked up the speed one last time. “I’m not going to quit.” I was oddly overcome with emotion over this. I thought to myself, “well dang, sure, I’m happy to be running again, but that’s a bit of a strong reaction”. And just as I was cornered the last turn, I’d suddenly realized this was a metaphor of my life.
I’m not going to quit on faith, on God, on friends, on uprightness, on the pursuit of love and happiness, on the desire to do good, on the passion to be creative musically and technologically. I’m not going to quit on the gifts God’s place in my life, and I’m not going to quit on believing that there’s a reason for all the good, bad and ugly that goes on in this world and my life.
I’m not going to quit.
Entering the last stretch, and pumped to the brim with this newfound motivation, I’d began loosing steam. But I pressed, and pressed and pressed, past where I’d thought the mile marker was. Finally, seeming like minutes later (it was probably just a few steps), Nike speaks to me. “Mile complete, good job!” I came to a halt, bent over in pain, back up, pumping my fist in victory. I freaking did it. I’d instantly wondered what my time was. I’d hoped for eight and a half minutes, since the last time I’d clocked a run was about two years ago, and my time was about 9 minutes a mile then. I would have gushed if I’d made it in eight in a half, especially since I’d felt like I was moving especially slow, and I’d now run a full 2.5 miles in just a short period.
But I didn’t make it in eight and a half. Nike came back on, “Congratulations, Seven minutes and Ten seconds.”
Man, that felt good. That felt great. I’m no world racer, but to be reminded of where I’ve come from the last few years, where I am, and to come out, to my own surprise, far ahead of my own expectations… #double-fist-pump! It may be insignificant to many, but I’m going to relish in the small things this year, and I’m not going to quit looking for the bright side (nor the overt life metaphors). I hope you join me in my endeavor.
Best of 2017 to all of you out there, love you much.