Monday, April 18, 2011

I'm a sprinter not a marathoner...or am I?

Heart thumping, hands shaking, butterflies swirling in my stomach as I watched the elite women athletes run by in the Boston marathon this morning. I was in total awe. I was pulling for Kara Goucher who finished 5th today (picture of her running through finish line). She finished 3rd the last time we lived in Boston in 2009, but in the meantime she had a baby... and today she beat her previous best marathon time! I read an interview with her and she said she was running until the day she delivered her baby boy...even that very day! BUT, it's clear from her interviews that motherhood is way more exciting and dear to her heart than running. She said she was more excited about his two little teeth coming through than this race. I hope the video I took turns out okay but I was trembling and screaming, "GO KARA, GOOOOOO!"

I've always wanted to be some kind of athlete. My scoliosis and the 4 years spent in a full-torso, body brace, sorta sealed the deal on my physical limitations. I do physical therapy now just to keep up with a normal lifestyle and chase Ethan around the park. In my heart, I'm a sprinter. I ran two, 10 K races in Israel...and whenever I saw the finish line, no matter how exhausted I was, I just sprinted...I couldn't help it! Watching them today made me want to fly like the wind! This week I've been thinking about how I was created to be a sprinter more naturally than a long distance runner- in every aspect of my life. And, yet, God in His wisdom has called me to develop the endurance, patience, and discipline needed to be a marathoner in a couple key areas. 1) my husband's long trek through a MD/PhD and 2) my infertility and journey to grow our family.

"Consider it pure joy my brothers whenever you face trails of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything." James 1:2-4

Do you see that? God doesn't want me to "lack anything." I'm feeling the love. I can endure a lot of things, even very painful things--for a short period of time. My labor with Ethan was 26 hours. At about 20 hours, I wondered if I would survive it, not because of the extremely painful, 1-min-apart contractions...but because they lasted for a day! Had he come in 3-12 hours, I would have still had something left in me. The ONLY thing left in me when he arrived was the most intense relief I'd ever felt and some adrenaline...everything else was exhaustion! Hmmm...I bet the winners today felt similar emotions! So, yes, in a strange sort of way, I've done my 26.2!

I don't like when the finish line is nowhere in sight. However, just as the "dash" between the dates on a tombstone tell the REAL story, so does the season we walk through SLOWLY. Today I saw a t-shirt that said, "Just a walk in the park." hahahahaha. Not to dismiss the pain of our struggles, but there is a certain strength of character that comes when we're able to savor the sprints and the marathons, when we focus on making the dash between the beginning of our life and the end of it, really count.

"Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us." Romans 5:4-5

Before last year, I had never run in my life. I was inspired by a dear friend who was training for a marathon as a complete non-runner. She had never done a race in her life but felt compelled to train for a marathon! She listened to God throughout her training and she ran as much as He directed....and she did it. She ran a marathon as her first race! So I was inspired and decided to start running as an outlet for my frustrations and a way to keep my body fit for the day when I would carry another baby. Running was therapeutic going into my second year of "trying." I would run along the Mediterranean and think and pray and sometimes get mad at my body. I pushed myself harder when I got mad at what wasn't working right! When I started doing treatment last summer, my ovaries hurt so much I had to drastically cut back on my running. And then I dropped it completely when we moved back to the States.

But now in this season of reflecting, I see how God is preparing me both for the sprints and the marathons of life...and I feel stronger...I feel like God's little athlete...I'm on His team and He's cheering me on as I stumble, sometimes fall, and sometimes smoothly sail along.  I'm learning to enjoy different paces and the different scenery along the way. Go Kait GOOOOO!!!!!


  1. Those verses were just what I needed tonight. I've been listening to that song "Blessings" by Laura Story a whole lot lately and really putting a lot of effort into trying to put a different spin on this whole situation. Thank you for another amazing blog post that left me feeling lifted up and encouraged.

  2. Oh how I wish we lived closer so we could get together and talk about all of these things. I miss my conversations with you and going through life with you. I'm so glad you started this gives me my Kaitlin fix :) Running taught me so much spiritually as well. I'm no longer running either and I really miss it. I'm determined to go back to it after I have the baby. No running up to the day of my delivery for this momma!!!!! In so many ways right now I'm learning about God asking us to stand still. Hard lesson, but so worth it. I love you!!!