Written by: Kristen Oliver
For the past 5 years I have been running. Running has not just been a form of exercise, but also a way to cope with daily stress and anxiety. I started running after I had my first son, Landon who was only 3 months old and I NEEDED to get out of the house! I had always liked the idea of running because you could go running virtually anywhere. I love the sense of freedom running has brought me. I do not feel contained to a gym, timeframe, or location. When we go on vacation I get excited for a new place to run!! I know running isn’t for everyone, just like the gym or yoga isn’t for everyone (I love yoga too btw).
I like running because nobody knows how far i’ve gone, what my pace is, as long as your running you “look like a runner.” However, in many other sports and the gym, there is a learning curve. You won’t be “good” right away, and everyone will know it (but they probably don’t care as much as you think). I have tried many sports and too many gym memberships to count, but nothing stuck for me. I was and still am a self-conscious person and expect the best from myself in everything I do. So…a long learning curve overwhelmed me.
Running has been my emotional and physical outlet for 5 years now, and most of those years I had one or two babies along for the ride! Talk about feeling good about yourself, running and pushing kids! Supermom alert!!
Can I admit something?
Running with my stroller is my crutch. My crutch. Sometimes quite literally because I can hold onto it when I need a break, if Lucas needs something I might have to stop, Landon will inevitably want to get out and run with me.
Sometimes it’s an emotional crutch…. When I’m pushing the stroller my pace is inevitably slower, I can stop for more water breaks, so now I don’t have to push myself as hard as I would on a solo run, you get the idea. Welcome to my thought process. Don’t get me wrong…I LOVE running with my kids and they enjoy it too, but there are times when I don’t push myself because I “don’t have to.” Nobody will notice if I don’t, if my pace is slower I have an excuse…” Didn’t you see, I’m pushing 2 kids in a stroller?”
So why am I telling you all this?
I think we all have a crutch. Sometimes we either figuratively or literally lean on our crutch and it holds us back from being a better version of ourselves.
Stop for a second and identify the crutch in your life. How does it make you feel? Hold onto that feeling for a second…
I already told you running with a stroller is a crutch for me, not because it’s a bad thing, but because of where my thought process goes sometimes. This has been the phrase ringing in my head lately. I wish I was better…
I wish I was a better runner.I wish I was a better mother.I wish I was a better wife.I wish I was a better friend.I wish I was a better writer.I wish I was better in all areas of my life.
Can we just stop for a second and recognize how unrealistic and overwhelming this sounds!!
What I see in those thoughts is that I never feel “good enough.” Now I know there are obvious things wrong with this statement, but you know what?? It doesn’t negate how I feel. When I am dealing with emotions that I know are not based on truth I do three things…
Recognize the feelings I am having
Cross check my feelings with the truth in the Bible
Pray about it
These are not long intense steps, it won’t’ take long. You know what will keep you from doing this? Your mind. Your mind will convince you that your feelings are too big, they need an immediate tangible fix. Think about what do you do to numb your feelings? I guarantee you these three things will be quicker and there is no guilt afterwards. I have to warn you, this is not going to change your thinking, circumstances or feelings over-night. It takes daily maintenance, just like exercising once isn’t going to change your body overnight. Our feelings and emotions need daily maintenance, just like our bodies. These three things are the beginning to a spiritually healthier you.
You may feel the same way as I do…. You wish you were better…The good news is that God doesn’t expect me, or you, to be anything other than ourselves. We are not expected to be perfect in our humanness. However, we are expected to do our best and learn from our mistakes.
Check out this song by Elevation Worship, exactly what we are talking about today!
Jesus I Come Oh, how I need Your grace More than my words can say Jesus I come, Jesus I come In all my weaknesses You are my confidence Jesus I come, Jesus I come I will rise, stand redeemed Heaven open over me To Your name eternally Endless glory I will bring (oh) Oh, what amazing love We need Your cleansing flood Jesus I come, Jesus I come In every broken place You are my righteousness Jesus I come, Jesus I come