Sunday, March 10, 2013

FAITH


Hi! :D My spirit feasted today at church. :D And being a new developing tri-athlete I tend to apply what I am learning to the area of training. It is all just way too cool to keep to myself, so here I am! :D

Lesson 5 – The Grand Destiny of the Faithful

I loved how this lesson started out. The first impression made to me was of how Elisha, the teacher talked about how she and her husband look at their children in awe of how much their children have inherited traits and capabilities from them. “Look, he has your ---“ Wow, she does X just like you do!” Elisha then pointed out that we adults have also inherited traits and capabilities – not only from our earthly parents but also from our spirit parents. As I listened to these words, my eyes were drawn to the writing on the board…

“Because we have divinity within us, we can become like our father in heaven.”

I felt a tremendous testimony growing within me during this lesson. A testimony that  Heavenly Father has great things in store for me and that I have great capabilities which I can realize and become, if I will but heed the promptings of the spirit and DO the things which the lord calls me to do. The spirit has grown within me today a testimony that I am so much more than I realizeas are ALL of God’s children…

One of the things which Elisha reminded us was that we need to “cultivate an ambition.”

As she mentioned it I thought of the many times in which I have gone to an old journal and read that I was excited to develop a talent or learn or do something. As I read these words, I would sometimes sadly acknowledge that the ambition faded away and was never accomplished. I also remembered though, that there have been ambitions which I have slowly cultivated by acting/doing something to make something happen. Like the ambition to be a tri-athlete. Last spring, I went to the pool three days a week for three months so I could learn to put my face in the water and swim. I diligently swam, ran, and eventually biked (I only biked for two months – but I did it). Because I ACTED this ambition grew, and the ambition to participate in triathlons became a reality…

One of the greatest moments during that lesson was the moment in which I related these principles to my athletic training. In addition to what I have already reflected upon regarding my training, another analogy came to mind which greatly inspires me! :D

I thought of how running faster or farther than we are used to running is like taking up the challenge to do something in life which we have never done before. THIS TAKES FAITH. WE have to get ourselves to DO something without any evidence that we are capable. We have to get out of our comfort zones to do it. We don’t even KNOW if we can do it, we only HOPE. We are acting on faith, not knowledge; THIS IS a CHALLENGE.

When I run faster than I am used to running, it can be incredibly strenuous and challenging. I can assure you – it is NOT a comfortable feeling, and I don’t know how long I can keep going…There is a little voice which can be heard to say, “You know, if you just slowed down and walked for just a few seconds this would be a lot easier.” But then another voice reminds me, “Yes, it would be easier, but do you really need to slow down? How will you even know what you are capable of? And how will you ever grow and improve, if you make it easier?”

Another question entered my mind as I sat in that meeting today… What if we know the effort to accomplish something is worth it, but just don’t know if we can do it?

A runner who pushes past her current comfort zone will experience the feeling of tremendous challenge. Her legs may be fatigued by lack of nutrients, especially lack of oxygen; it may be difficult just to breathe. But her body will prepare her for the next run. It will create for her additional avenues for a greater supply of nutrients and oxygen for the next run. Yes, her body will actually create for her more veins. Her heart will become more efficient at pumping blood, pumping in greater supply than it did before so oxygen is delivered in much faster rate, thus making it much easier to breathe and making it possible for her legs to get the oxygen they need so they won’t get so fatigued. Her lungs will improve their capacity to carry oxygen to the tissues. Therefore, each time she challenges her comfort zone, her ability to perform will again increase and her comfort zone will be lengthened, until that same run actually becomes quite comfortable and even incredibly enjoyable.

As we continue on, again and again, WE ARE BLESSED WITH GREATER ABILITY THAN BEFORE. With the same effort and exertion as before, we find ourselves going further and faster. We even continue to progress even when we don’t realize it…

Now – let’s switch gears from the challenge of running - to simply doing things in life which are challenging…

Think of something which you feel you need to do, but don’t know how you will ever do it. Is there a job or command you have been given which seems impossible to you? Hold that thought in your mind as you consider this…

Remember the new runner. Imagine a brand new runner being told by her father that he wants her to run a marathon. Now she has only run between 1-2 miles at a time ever. Is it possible for her to run a marathon? Is it even possible for her to enjoy it?  Is it possible for her to run it without being injured and at great speed? Not on her first run – no. And that is what the negative voice of doubt would use to deceive her into believing the lie that it will never be possible for her.

However, the lord knows what we are capable of. He asks different things of each of us according to our abilities, desires, and life missions; a kind and loving father would never ask his son or daughter to do something he or she is not capable of… He knows that if she has faith that she can do what He asks her to do, then she will act on that faith and succeed. She will get out and run despite her current ability being so far below that of what she has been asked to do. If she gets out and runs a certain number of minutes each day, those minutes will naturally grow longer as her ability grows. At first, she may only run 2 miles, over and over again. Soon, she will develop the capacity to go 3. As she continues running she will develop the capacity to go 4, then 5, then 6, and so on and so forth – until she is eventually capable of running a full marathon – and even farther… The amazing thing is that it may take no more effort for her to run that full marathon than it took for her to run her first 2 or 3 miles…

All these principles have me thinking about my life – athletically, temporally, spiritually, in every way… I wonder what I am capable of. I wonder what more I would enjoy working towards? I don’t believe in faith in faith. I believe in faith in Jesus Christ. I believe that a miracle is when something happens, which God desires for us, and which we can not do without his help. I believe that if we have faith in Him, He will make the things which He desires for us possible – just as he created our bodies to make breathing while running, possible to those who run.

So I ask myself, what is it that He wants for me, which I also want – enough to take a leap of faith – and with His help, work to make it happen? :)

Corine :D

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Finally Running Again... :)

I don't have any idea what I am going to say here today. I just keep getting this push inside, telling me it is time to start writing on this blog again. So here I am! :)

I know I haven't been here in a long time. For 6 months I have didn't work out a whole lot - and not at all consistently. I have good news.  As for the last month... I am back! :) I have gradually begun to be active again. I just started running consistently again two or three weeks ago. I first began using the row machine here and there while the weather was cold etc. then I started running. I started out running just 3 miles per run, then finally ran 4 miles, then five, then three again a couple more times. I'm trying to work my way up carefully so I don't injure myself. Yesterday was my first time running 6 miles for many months. Today I ran 6 again, and ran it really well. I am again struggling with pain in knees (left feels arthritic) but I'm OK. I'll get through it again just like I did two years ago when I started running for the first time ever! :)

If you have a DailyMile account, look me up; maybe we can be "DailyMile-friends!"

I just have to say - it is SO EXCITING to be running again! :D My legs are SORE, but my spirits are high! I feel high! I'm proud of myself because today I ran, and kept running even when I was tempted to walk. I told myself,
"Corine, you CAN do this. Don't give in to the temptation to make this run 'easy.' How will you get better or find out what you can do if you make it easy?" 
So I kept running. And I gave it a good effort while still striving to run at a pace that I could maintain. I DID GOOD! :D I really did. I think I may have run the fastest 6 miles I have ever run. It feels SO GOOD to know that I am in charge of my body, and that me and my body can do amazing things. :) I know there are a LOT of runners who are way faster than me, but I also know that I'm running, and I don't even know what I am capable of. I don't think any of us do...

When I started running again last month, I probably ran about 10-minute miles, which was the pace of my first (and only so far) half marathon run (2011), but also a pace which a year later felt like a jog in the park. It was a bummer to run and really feel it then go look at my time and see that it was this pace which once felt so easy. But life has taught me that life isn't an upward climb - it's a roller coaster - and I need to persistently start again and keep moving forward even when it seems I've gone backwards. Time will go by whether or not I get back into shape; I may as well give it everything I've got so I can look back and say "I'm glad I did that" rather than "Gee I wish I had." That's what keeps me going.

When I train for triathlons or any sports this idea gets ingrained in me. I set out of the house with the simple goal to workout and give it a good effort. My goal for that day is not to do an Olympic Triathlon or a Half Marathon, and yet, that is exactly what I am accomplishing. That one simple workout is a small and simple puzzle piece in the puzzle of preparation that makes the big dream possible. None of my workouts are life shattering. I start out slow, and just do a little more and a little more. It never feels like more though, because my body grows faster and stronger with each workout. I keep running the same distance until my body wants to go farther. That's how I know I'm ready. Then I push my body to go just a little farther than it wants to.

Each daily workout feels like the same thing I have always done. While working out I don't usually realize that I'm doing more; and don't realize that I am adding to the puzzle of something big. And then it happens. That is when I finish the final pieces of the puzzle and realize that I have accomplished something big. And it will surprise me, because I never did anything big. I just kept doing a little more than I had before...

Training for triathlons has taught me to believe that I can be whatever I want to be as long as I put forth the effort consistently. I am anxious to dream again - and decide what else I want to be - then consistently work to make it happen...