Saturday I had to do a very humbling thing.
I always said I would never walk a 5k or 10k. If I couldn’t run it, I wouldn’t do it at all. In my 20s and 30s I ran them. I competed with myself to get quicker, better times. I had running partners and we’d train daily for the next big race.
But injuries and time and aging competed against me, too. I finally realized I could either run 30 minutes a day, or have healthy legs, but not both.
So I gave up running. Which meant I gave up community races.
But Saturday that changed.
Because my daughters wanted to do the Liz Hurley Ribbon Run 5K, and because they wanted me to join them, and because my bestie Kay said she’d walk it with me, I signed up.
To walk it.
Was this giving up? Being a wimp? Accepting defeat?
No. As a matter of fact, it was liberating.
It was time to let the pride die. To release a competitive spirit.
And to forgive my body . . . for not cooperating, for not doing what I wanted it to do, and for making me accept limits.
Our flesh won’t always cooperate with our spirit. Whatever our age.
- We can either resent the limitations or find a way to work within them.
- We can be angry at our bodies, or accept what they can give us.
- We can judge our flesh as bad and incompetent, or we can use what we do have for God’s glory.
I choose the latter.
Body, I forgive you. How can we love God together if I’m hating on you?
The 5K walk turned out to be magnificent. A beautiful day, it was a fun experience with my daughters and my friend. The money raised went to cancer research.
I used my body to walk for friends who have lived through cancer and friends who have died.
One in particular died from cancer just that week, and after the race, I showered, put on a dress, and attended Diana’s funeral.
Eventually all our bodies will fail us in physical ways, but in the meantime, they’re the only instruments we have to serve with, to take us places, and to love others with.
I promise to be better friends with mine.
* * *
How do you deal with physical limitations? I’d love to hear in the comments.
- How to know if you’re self-righteous
- The gospel is good news about a person