Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Nashville Country Music Marathon

Race: Nashville Country Music Marathon
Distance: 26.2 miles
Original Goal Time: 3:30:00
New Goal: Have fun! Run with UB! Finish the race
Actual Time: 04:24:11 (10:04 min/mi)

This was one of the most difficult races I have ran, due to
situation. I had hurt my left calf muscle, two weeks prior. I chose the CMM (Country Music Marathon) for one primary reason, to run with my UB (Uncle Bert). After training for months, I should have ran a 3:30:00. My body was well trained, my peak mileage at 70 miles per week. I enjoyed the majority of my training, but sadly, hurt my leg, just before the race; I chose to run anyways.

As I was walking down to the race, my leg was hurting, quite a bit. I tried to "hide" this, as I had 26.2 miles to run. UB, my friend Ed, and I started off together. The three of us ran the first 6 miles with one another. Ed stated that my gait was pretty bad during the first few miles, which did not surprise me. UB kept going (thankfully!) and Ed and I kept up together until just before the half marathon split. I had to slow my pace down for the second half of the race.

My Dad, cheering me on, ran a little bit with me around (mile 18?) and asked how I was doing. I could not help but cry, I was in pain. I continued to run (if you could call it that) even though most of me just wanted to stop and cry out in pain. At mile 25ish, Dad came out and ran me almost to the finish, this was a huge blessing, as I knew the end was near, but Dad knew the course, where as I was clueless. He told me what to expect and cheered me on. This was incredible! I am super thankful for both my parents who came out to cheer me on. Mom was the photographer, when Dad threw the camera for her to hold, while he joined me. Mom blesses me with her presence; I love how I can hear her cheering me on! What a blessing it is to be encouraged in a race that you've spent months training for!

I don't have any great thoughts to leave you with; I'm not sure why God allowed this to happen. In fact, I am still frustrated at the situation. After work, I massage, ice, and elevate my leg. The swelling has gone down, although it is not fully healed. This type of pain can happen to anyone, doing anything...urgh! I must hold onto the fact that I run for fun and more importantly, I run to glorify God.

UB (Uncle Bert) and I at the Expo

Sunday, May 08, 2011

Happy Mothers Day!

This is a blog posting from SCL once again...I want to share this posting, on this day, as my Mother is a woman of grace, constantly living as a woman of "Grace Spots." I was blessed to spend Mothers Day Weekend with my family! We celebrated Saturday evening, and then Sunday at lunch. :)

Mom and I, December 2010

#995. Grace Spots.

April 13, 2011

A few weeks ago, my family and I went out to dinner together on a Friday night. The goal was to have a family meal, hang out, and possibly even enter into the Q realm. Quality Time.

Apparently every person in the greater Nashville are also had the same idea.

At the first restaurant we went to, we couldn’t even find a parking place. We circled a few times and then tried a second restaurant. When they told us the wait time was 45 minutes, I groaned and set the timer on my iPhone.

I’m a little OCD about numbers and sometimes watching the time helps keep me focused on something other than waiting in the lobby. I’d like to say that while waiting there I realized our goal of hanging out as a family was already being accomplished, that we didn’t need food to bond together as a family, we had each other! This was why we came out in the first place. The night was already a success as we talked and laughed about our week in a moment that would have made even Norman Rockwell jealous. I want to say that, but that would be a lie.

In moments like that, I tend to become a jerk. I don’t know if it’s because I’m competitive and want to “beat other people to dinner” or maybe it’s because I’m impatient. But I started to get really frustrated and tired of waiting and angry that I did not possess the super powers to force the little beeper we were holding to go off. Flash red already!

When it finally did go off, I walked up to the hostess and said, “I feel like I won the lottery. I’m so happy I want to give you a hug.” Her response?

“That would be great, I had a really tough day with my teenager.”

Slap in the face. Stomach punch. Throat chop. However you want to say it, she misinterpreted my passive aggressive/whiny statement as genuine thankfulness. And that was pretty convicting.

It made me realize that there are some moments in life where people aren’t getting any grace. There are some places where people aren’t being shown any kindness, ever. There are some times in the day where people aren’t getting any love. And although I might like to think I am graceful in those situations, I’m not.

But what if showing grace to someone was like anything else in life, you had to be deliberate? What if I could consciously pick ahead of time “Grace Spots” where no matter what, I was going to do my best to throw out wild amounts of grace? Would that change somebody’s day? Would that show someone Christ in a really unexpected way? Maybe, so here are three I identified:

1. At the airport.

Flight attendants, the TSA guards, the gate attendants, these folks are constantly surrounded by the most impatient, frustrated people on the planet. What if every time I flew, I went out of my way to treat the airport like a grace spot?

2. The Post Office

I’ve never had a fast experience at the post office. I’ve never walked out and thought, “that sure was easy.” But the one guy running the counter while 80 of us wait in line with packages didn’t demand, “I want to be understaffed today. I’d prefer to not have any help with me today.” That guy needs grace.

3. The DMV

You’re going to want to work your way up to this one. Don’t start with the DMV. Practice grace on a few Friday nights at restaurants first. Fly a few times and make a TSA guard laugh or smile before you practice grace at the Department of Motor Vehicles. This is PhD level grace and kindness, but they deserve it too. Lots of it.

There’s a chance that you are a fountain of grace and the idea about deliberately labeling and praying about grace spots is silly to you. You already show grace everywhere. The planet is your grace spot. I wish I could say the same thing about my life, but I can’t. I need to keep grace spots in mind and I’ve already seen it change things.

When I was in the ninth grade my mom made me write an apology note to the dentist. He swore he’d never see me again as a patient because I was such a jerk to him. So when we moved to Nashville, I determined I’d pick the dentist’s office as a grace spot. After a few visits of showering everyone in that office with grace, a new hygienist handled my appointment. She said, “I was so excited to finally meet you today. Everyone was talking this morning about how much they enjoy when you come in for a visit and I hadn’t met you yet.” Then a few days later she sent me the first hand written thank you note I’ve ever received from a dentist’s office.


Because the dentist’s office is one of my grace spots.

What would you say is one of the places you have a seemingly impossible time extending grace?

What grace spots could you pick?