Monday, January 27, 2014

Running the Race

I will never forget this moment. I was
so happy to have finished!
Many of you already know, but yesterday I was able to accomplish something that was quite significant to me: I ran my first half-marathon. I realize that to many people this wouldn't seem like an accomplishment, but for me it was so much more than simply running 13.1 miles. It was a goal I set in September when I registered, and I have been working and training in order to be prepared for the race. It wasn't an easy road; I started in August not being able to run a half mile without huffing and puffing, but through dedication and much help from God I was able to run 13.1 miles yesterday!

I'm a goal-driven person, and that is one quality I love about myself. I see a need, or I set a goal, and I will do anything to accomplish it. With that said, this half-marathon was much more significant than proving to myself that I could beat my body into believing I had been an athlete for 20 years. For one thing, it was special to me because when I was little my parents would parade my sister and I all over the state to cheer my dad on as he ran marathons. A long time has passed from then, but I never felt more proud to pick up a hobby that was so special to my dad. 

In college my friends have
began to call me Gambi, so
it made sense to put that as my
name right? Also, it was really
neat because 622 happens
to be my Pawpaw's birthday! :)
I chose my half-marathon because of its cause. Hosted in Waco, Miracle-Half was hosted by the Waco Fire Department and the proceeds were donated to Be the Match. So yesterday, not only did I finish the race, but I also registered to be a donor should I ever be found to be a match. Honestly it somewhat terrifies me that any day I could get a call saying I'm a match and then have to undergo a painful surgery, but if that's what it takes to save a life, it'd be worth it to me.

My support team. Love them!
My race yesterday was difficult. It's called one of the toughest half-marathons and marathons for the gruesome hills. I'd be lying if I told you I didn't have tears in my eyes as I ran miles 7-10 because it was constantly steep hills followed by painful speed downwards, just to climb right back up again. Other than the gruesome hills, I loved it! We ran through Baylor's campus, then down by the
Still smiling at mile 5!
river and even through the zoo. I was really looking forward to the zoo, but unfortunately the only thing I saw was an eagle. All throughout the race, every mile was dedicated to either a donor or recipient of Be the Match. It truly touched me to see at several water stations pictures were posted of the recipients, and strangely just seeing some of
the kids and adults that had been given life, gave me the strength to keep pushing on. I am blessed to be able to run, and so I ran for those who couldn't.
Nana & Pawpaw made their way from Austin
to come watch me. Love you two!

Before the race, my dad led my family in communion. He then read the infamous scripture about running the race for the Lord, and as cheesy as it was, it was truly encouraging to know that I was running for more than a prize, but I was running for the Lord. I loved having my family pray over me before I began my race, and their support is probably the main reason I was able to cut off almost 2 minutes off every mile yesterday. 

There is a scripture in Habakuk that I have grown to love. 
“Look at the nations and watch—
and be utterly amazed.
For I am going to do something in your days
that you would not believe,
 even if you were told."  Habakuk 1:5

Finish line in sight!
I love this scripture so much because we are promised by God great things, things that we cannot even imagine. If you had told me a year ago I would run a half-marathon, I would have laughed much like Sarah did in the Bible when she was told she'd bear a child. A year ago it would have been impossible to me, because I had never set foot in the rec for more than to cheer my friends on in basketball. But in a matter of 4 months I trained my body for a race that I'll remember for the rest of my life. I am excited to keep running and training, because it has grown to be something I love. It's my hope that one day I'll be able to use my hobby to race and raise money for an organization. I don't know if I'll ever be able to accomplish such a goal, but I know that in all things God will lead me. It's my prayer that I dedicated so much time to training, to beating my body down to build it up, that I will be able to do the same in my walk with God. There are far better things beyond this world, and it is my hope that I can truly begin running in my race for Heaven. As urgent as I am in running, it is my hope that I can have the same urgency, passion, and dedication to my walk with God.  With God all things are possible, and all glory goes to Him alone for carrying me through this experience. One down, many to go!