Inspiring People to Use Their Gifts for Global Impact

Archive for August, 2013

Love & Hate: Revelations of a Marathon Runner in Training

Love & Hate

Revelations of a Marathon Runner in Training


If they can do it…

I hate running!  I know it sounds a bit silly for someone who is training for a marathon to say that, but it’s true.  I really don’t like it.  The sweating, the heavy breathing, the burning legs and lungs…  It just isn’t pleasant!  It’s one of those activities that people participate in, and other people ask them the question “Why?  Why bother?”

I laughed the other day when I saw the image on Facebook that showed a bumper sticker with “0.0” on it, and then underneath it said “I don’t run.”  I would say that used to be me.  I would ask the question “Why bother?”  I would see people on a treadmill and think, “You know, back in the day, people would work on their farms and work in the fields to make a living and survive.  That was their exercise.  You never saw overweight farmers or construction workers.  Now, we’ve made life so easy for ourselves that we have to create physical work to do that really accomplishes nothing! :)

I know it’s an odd thought, but I would think those kinds of things when I saw people running.  You start in one spot … run around for a bit, and end up back in the same spot.  What’s the point?!

Well, I’ve started to discover a few “points” as I’ve begun this lovely experience called marathon training.  Now, you might be wondering why in the world I would sign up for a marathon when I hate running.  I wonder the same thing as I’m out on the road!  Here’s the reason…

This past year, many people ran the Glass City Marathon.  After the race, I saw pictures of people crossing the finish line, looking a little rough, but they made it!  I was proud of them.  Even though I didn’t really know them, I was proud of them.  Then, I began to think … “If they can do it … I can do it!”  I know we hear that phrase a lot, and I think it gets us into trouble sometimes!  However, I also think that phrase gets us off our rear end and challenges us to do things we never thought we could do before.

So, here I am.  I decided that I can do it.  I might be wrong about that, but I think we underestimate the power of our own beliefs.  If you had asked me a year or two ago if I could run a marathon, I would have told you “Heck no!  I can barely run three miles!”  The truth is I could not have run a marathon then.  Why?  Because I didn’t believe I could.

Now, this all might be a little premature since I haven’t actually run further than 15 miles at one time, but I believe that my belief is the key to my success.  We’ve probably all seen The Biggest Loser at one point or another.  If you had asked those contestants a year prior if they could lose over 100 pounds they would have laughed in your face as they were eating a whole pizza or scraping the bottom of a bucket of ice cream (I’ve done that a few times). :)  So, what’s the difference?

It’s that little voice in their head, not the creepy weird voices, but the little voice that says, “You know what?  Maybe I can be different.  Maybe I can do that.  Maybe it is possible.”  It sounds simple and silly, but it’s amazingly powerful.  The best part is that after you take a few steps toward your new goal and see some progress, the voice gets louder.  You start to hear yourself saying, “I AM doing this!  I WILL finish.  I WON’T quit!  It’s in me to do this thing.”  Now, if you’re yelling those phrases in the middle of a gym or in the middle of the Haagen Dazs ice cream isle, people might start to stare.  However, it’s a powerful thing to do!

So, my point in all of this is that we can do more than we think we can.  Well, actually, that’s not true.  We can ONLY do what we think we can.  I’ve changed my mind about me, and I believe I CAN run a marathon.  Yikes!  It’s still a bit weird for me to say that, but if you repeat something long enough, you really do start to believe it.

What’s your “I can…”?  What is that one thing you always said you could NEVER do?  What have you seen other people do and thought, “If they can do it, I can do it.”?

So do it. :)  Do what you have never done.  Be who you never thought you could be.  You’ve got one chance.  YOLO, right?  You won’t regret it.  Even if you fail.  Even if I drag myself across the finish line bleeding and half alive, I’m going to say “I did it!”  Don’t miss out on the opportunity to say that with a huge smile on your face.  You’ll look back over your life and be glad you did.

Many people have said, “It’s not the things you did that you’ll look back and regret, it’s the things that you didn’t do.”

So, what’s your thing?  Move towards it today.  Even if it’s a tiny step.  Even if it’s just listening to that little voice that’s saying, “It’s in you.”  Your tomorrow will be better because you did! :)


Feel free to follow me on my running journey!  I plan to post “Running Revelations” after some of my runs.  Please post comments about your own journey as well! :)

Image from:

Birthday Reflections! :)


Birthday Reflections

We all have one every year.  A birthday.  Some of us dread them and some of us, mostly children, start talking about our “day” six months in advance.  This day, 1 of 365, is always a bit different than other days.  Even if you’re a person who isn’t excited about your day, you can’t help but feel a difference.  It’s not ordinary.  You can’t pretend it’s a regular day.  Your birthday has a way of forcing you to evaluate.

Now, this evaluation, whether the duration is a few minutes or extends for a longer period of time, can cause a person to have multiple emotions almost simultaneously.  Joy, sadness, love, amusement, anger, happiness.  Indifference is also an option, but I would wager that most of us, after looking back over an entire year of our life, do not feel indifferent about it.  Looking back stirs up feelings of some kind.  In addition, I would say that you cannot look back over your last year of existence and have only one kind of emotion.  Ups and downs were a part of it.  Highs and lows, joy and pain were a part of it.  Moments beyond your expectations were littered throughout the year as well as moments that caused you more pain than you thought possible.  

Whether the majority of your feelings are positive or painful, one thing you can say for sure is that you made it!  You made it through an entire year, three hundred sixty five days.  Three hundred sixty five days.  That is a lot of time.  If you were waiting for the results of a test and the doctor or teacher told you, “I’ll get you your results.  I’ll drop them in the mail.  They will arrive in about three hundred sixty five days.”  You’d think, “Are you crazy!?  I can’t wait that long!”  However, somehow, you can and you do.  

We are stronger than we think.  We can endure more than we give ourselves credit for.  What’s interesting is that, most of the time, the person we believe in the least is ourselves.  Why is that?  Is it because we know ourselves better than others do?  Is it that we see the weak points and frailties that others miss when they look at us?  

What if what they see outweighs what we see.  What if those around us, those who truly love us and believe in us, what if they are right and we are wrong?  What if we changed our perspective?

As I look back over this last year on my birthday, I realize that my mindset is shifting.  My thought process is changing.  My outlook is different.  Over this last year, no matter what I went through, good or bad, it has helped me to reshape and remold my self-image.  It’s quite possible that it could have been a negative reimaging, but thankfully God has taken over this remolding process, and I am amazed by what He is revealing to me about me every day!  It really is quite exciting.  It’s like opening a present every so slowly.  You begin to glimpse a piece of what’s underneath, and as you peel the paper back more and more, the revelation of the gift inside is almost more than you can bear!

So, I am excited about discovering more of the “gift” that is me.  In this next year of my life, the next 365 days, I can only imagine that the discovery is going to become increasingly awe-inspiring.  Most of the awe is in the realization that God has made me so unique and so complex, so gifted.  It is Him, though, that I am amazed by, not me.  It’s Him in me that causes me to scoot to the edge of my seat waiting to see what He will do next and what He is going to reveal.

Even if today is not your birthday, I hope the same is true for you as well.  I hope and pray that you begin to discover the gift that is you.  Let God slowly peel back the wrapping paper and show you what has been in you all the time.  You will be amazed.  It will be hard to believe at times, but trust Him.  He knows what He’s doing. :)

I think the biggest disservice we can do to ourselves is miss what’s right in front of our eyes.  Don’t miss it.  Don’t let the fog you’ve allowed to settle in to cause you to miss what’s in you … who is in you.  

My challenge to you today is see what others see.  See what God sees.  See “you” through His eyes.  Your experiences look different in that light.  Your shortcomings, your issues, your frailties and faults all take on a different appearance when you view you through the eyes of a God who loves you beyond measure.  When a father looks lovingly at his child, he doesn’t see the cracks and weak points.  When a mother looks at her baby she isn’t picking out the issues.  God doesn’t do that either.

So, today I’m wishing YOU a happy birthday!  It’s a day where a new view of YOU is being born.  Mark it on your calendar.  Celebrate it!  The rest of your life is going to take on a whole new look starting today.  Happy birthday to you!  I am excited to see where the next 365 days will take you.

~ Jeanna :)

Image from: