I used to hate running. I mean I really hated running. If I was out in the woods and was being chased by a large grizzly bear I would have thought long and hard about whether I had to run away from the large carnivore.
About 4 years ago I decided to run. I don’t really have a good explanation why I started, I just did. One day I reached into the closet and pulled out my 6 year old pair of dusty running shoes and took off down the road.
For the first quarter mile I felt great in my mind I was world famous marathoner Ryan Hall. I was unstoppable. As I settled into my groove I hit the wall, which took me all of 2 minutes to find. The wall came out of nowhere and I hit it hard. My lungs burned as if the air had turned to molten lava and my legs felt as if a thousand gnomes where shooting poison tip darts at them. I had sweat dripping in places I was used to having sweat drip into. Simply put I was miserable.
I did what every beginner runner does when they hit the wall for the first time. I walked over to the nearest street sign and stretched out my calf. I had seen it done at a few races I had witnessed in my life. I didn’t really need to stretch out my calves, but doing so made me look as if I knew what I was doing..
I “stretched” my calves while my heart rate slowly dropped out of the stratosphere and my breathing stabilized. Once all systems were a go I started running again and once again ran straight into a wall. This process of hitting a wall and calf stretching was repeated for the entire first month I ran until I ended up burned out and injured.
I was simply too stubborn to change my training plan. Had I read anything about how to start out running, I would have learned that you are not supposed to run until you nearly puke, rest and then repeat. Rather you are supposed to ease yourself into the sort.
We love big dramatic changes in our lives. Like my big change from couch potato to runner. We love to stand around at a cocktail party and talk about how we are now running 5 miles a day, fully committed to the sport at all costs. The big changes is what people like to hear about, but the problem with big changes is that they are not always sustainable. Eventually you will burn out and return back to old habits.
Thankfully, God doesn’t always require us to undergo such large and dramatic changes in our life. All that God requires is a small commitment. That’s it. He will work with what you are willing to give him. Give to God what is bothering you and if you cant’ give Him everything, give Him a sliver. You will be amazed at what He can do with it.
He will lead you down the path you are supposed to follow. He can turn your Faith from something that is smoldering to something that burns as bright and as hot as my lungs did when I first started running all those years ago, no calf stretching required.