Alexandria, Virginia. 9 am on a Sunday.
Elizabethtown, Pennsylvania. 2pm on a Sunday.
Today I ran 2 races and checked off 2 states. I started with a 5k in VA. It was fine. I went home, downed a cup of coffee and half a loaf of gluten-free-sugar-free-flavor-free zucchini carrot bread, grabbed my little family and headed 2 hours north to PA.
The trip was beautiful. It snowed. So Much Snow. The fields and barns and cows had a light dusting of snow as we proceeded north. So Many Cows. The race was fine.
2 races in a day across 2 states is a feat. But today was tough. There was no fanfare. No balloon arches that said, “WAY TO GO KATHY!” In my head I’m fighting Khloe Kardashian for the cover of Shape magazine. Reality is a lot less glamorous. I didn’t talk to anyone. I didn’t share my mission or my mistakes or encourage anyone. I wasn’t a cheerleader for anyone today – least of all myself.
And thats ok. The first lesson I learned today was, you won’t always get what you think you deserve. Promotion, raise, accolade – recognition of a job well done. It can’t change the big picture.
The second thing I was reminded of is that we are never alone. My friend Matt, a Navy Officer that i’ve known for 18 years who isn’t just a runner but an ultra-marathon runner, posted on social media for me:
“Just because I didn’t run at the same time and place doesn’t mean I’m not running with you! #runtowin.”
My stomach was in my throat and not because I was ready to vomit from the run (though that was certainly true about half way up the 90th f’in Amish hill). It was a perfect gift of grace.
My father used in a sermon on Grace:
“Justice is getting what you deserve. Mercy is not getting what you deserve. Grace is getting what you don’t deserve.”
I will try to live life more gracefully.
“I’m not saying that I have this all together, that I have it made. But I am well on my way, reaching out for Christ, who has so wondrously reached out for me. Friends, don’t get me wrong: By no means do I count myself an expert in all of this, but I’ve got my eye on the goal, where God is beckoning us onward—to Jesus. I’m off and running, and I’m not turning back.” Philippians 3:12-14