Finishing a Marathon in More Ways than One

My “a” key is sticky as I type this, so it could get interesting. It’s been one week. One week since I crossed the finish line of the Walt Disney World Marathon. One week of achieving two goals I had set post-partum. One week of unwinding from a season of chaos, and more ugly-named a season of selfishness.

In August I was unwinding from a season of LOVE ATLANTA, some special events I was working, my brother’s wedding, and gearing up to start this marathon training cycle. I had already turned down one contracting opportunity that gave me little lead time after a busy season, when I was approached about another 12-week opportunity, side hustle if you will. It was something I had always been curious in, and had previously said I wouldn’t give up if I was approached with the opportunity. Whenever I try to describe my personality and the way I work, I sing Shakira the gazelle’s song “Try Everything” from Zootopia. I am far more scared to not have found something that I love, then to fail in the attempt. I have failed A LOT, but I would take it every day over not having gone for it. So I said yes.

I already had several things slated for this past season and a few personal challenges long the way – finishing our home study for foster/adoption, my grandmother being in the hospital long term from COVID – but I didn’t let that stop me. So I dove in: training for my marathon, studying for my PMP exam, taking on my regular job + contract work, taking care of the house + Elijah, supporting Jon in his world. It was too much and everyone around me suffered.

I thought I was doing alright, I was trying to be flexible and present, but even when those two things variables aligned my mind was usually elsewhere. My engagement with Elijah tanked, I was forgetting or having to cancel things with friends, eventually we all got sick, and Jon could be telling me a 50 minute story and 2 minutes in I was trying to solve some puzzle in one of my realms and missed the whole thing. Talk about frustrating.

God in His kindness allowed me to carry it all for good and bad. I helped launch a few successful projects with work, I got to be a part of a few interesting and fun projects in the contract world, I passed my PMP exam and officially got certified, and reached two of my three goals for my marathon (sub 3:30 and finish without walking – by stretch goal was sub 3:15 if you were interested), but as I crossed the finish line something felt different than it ever had: gratitude + contentment, a sign it was time for something else.

I reflected on it a good bit this past week, my word for the year is simplify, and through the muck of this last year – even in the good – I let myself and feelings take the drivers seat A LOT. And so I feel convicted and challenged. How do I balance showing up for my community without sacrificing my presence with the people I love? How do I actively create the boldness in the uncomfortable places (it’s plenty there in the comfortable ones)? How do I not try to “share” the spotlight with my Creator/Savior by continuing to achieve and goal-set? How do I cultivate a love of adventure and exploration alongside extreme generosity?

That’s why I want to chew on the first few months of this year. I crossed the finish line of this marathon and as the final moment of this past season – and now it’s time for something new. Lord how can I do your will with what you’ve given me?

Amen.

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fuelingherforward

I'm a native Atlantan, run loving foodie who got a little sideways in her nutrition and is learning how to train and fuel in a healthy way to continue to live life to the fullest. God created me beautifully and I desire to honor Him by being the best version of me. I want that for YOU also!

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