Back in January, I wrote a blog called “The Need to Run.” I talked about how I’ve never enjoyed running, but sometimes, I run as a healthy way to cope with stress.
This past summer, a friend said she was starting a couch to 5K program using an app on her phone. I had no desire to run a 5K, but I did want to get in better shape, so I entertained the idea.
I found a couch to 5K app that had thousands of 5 star reviews. Several people commented that they never considered themselves a runner until they used this app. I remember reading one review that said, “This app can turn anyone into a runner.”
I thought, “If this app has helped thousands of people become runners, maybe there is hope for me.” I was up for the challenge, so I downloaded the app.
In 8 weeks, you are supposed to go from laying on your couch to being able to run a 5K. The workouts on the app are designed to slowly build your endurance and stamina. The first few weeks, I felt pretty good and thought, “Maybe I could be a runner.” I was only running for a minute or two at a time and then walking in-between, but it still felt like an accomplishment every time I completed a workout.
Throughout the workouts, words of encouragement are spoken to you, such as “Great job, runner!” or “You’re halfway there, runner!” I’ve never had anyone address me as a “runner” before, so hearing it spoken to me by a computerized voice seemed a little strange, but it always made me laugh.
Things were going pretty well until week 4. That’s when the workouts started getting more challenging for me. I pushed through anyways and made it to week 5. That’s when I developed shin splints. I wasn’t able to run, as even walking was painful. I took a few weeks off of running and then tried it again. The pain returned.
Instead of running a 5K in 8 weeks, I was back laying on my couch, but this time I had ice on my shins.
I had failed the couch to 5K experience.
Mine was more like a couch to 2K back to the couch experience.
As I was laying on my couch, I realized that maybe I was never meant to be a runner. I have tried multiple times to become one, yet it’s not an activity I have ever enjoyed, and this time it ended painfully. So why do I keep trying to be someone I’m not?
Pain has a way of slowing us down. It often causes us to reflect.
God used the pain from shin splints to slow me down. He reminded me that I can strive to try to be someone I’m not, or I can embrace who He’s created me to be.
I am not a runner, but I am a daughter, a friend, a writer, and a teacher.
I don’t have a desire to run races, but I do have a desire to help and encourage others.
Embrace who God has created you to be.
And if God has created you to be a runner, I’ll be on the sidelines cheering for you!
I'm an ordinary introvert who loves an extraordinary God.