Posted: 03/19/2011 in Introductions, Musings, Running, Worth Checking Out

I am a distance runner.

I’m not extraordinarily fast, but if I pick a comfortable pace, I can run for hours. I like to call myself and endurance athlete.

It really is an interesting moniker, and using it I realize the term “endurance” is almost exclusively used in the context of athletics and physical exertion. At least that is how I predominately use it.

Today I was humbled and made aware of my lack of endurance in something altogether more important.

This morning I got help some friends with a rummage sale to help raise money to adopt a child from Ethiopia. It was an early morning, nothing all that extreme, but over the seven hours of helping I found myself wholly exhausted.

Right now I am sitting at a Starbucks trying to infuse my blood with enough caffeine that I will be safe from dozing off at church tonight.

Somewhere between my first life-giving sip and hitting a second wind it hit me: I get to stop and relax, to take a breather and recompose myself. To my knowledge just about everyone else who was at the rummage sale has children and obligations that are not going to allow such an indulgence.

As I said before, I found myself humbled because despite my ease of escape and rest, these parents endurance athletes were going strong as I tapped out. They were engaged and persevering, knowing that once they finished they still need to go home, get the family ready and out the door for church and take care of everything else on the docket for the rest of the day.

I feel like I ran a 5k and wanting to complain about having nothing left… its awesome and challenging and revealing to see people around you engaged in a marathon and doing it joyfully.

There isn’t much of a point to this post, other than the fact that I think I got a better picture of what endurance looks like today.

It is awesome.

  1. shasta says:

    I always think that way when I complain about nursing school and then look around at some of my classmates who have young children or full-time jobs. Then I’m like, why am I complaining?

    • Its crazy. I don’t know if it stems from necessity, but even last night I was talking to Josh and to see him and Katie, absolutely exhausted, but still patiently loving and disciplining their Ava, Gavin and Ashton… when they had no desire to go to bed (the kids, not Josh and Katie).

      I was impressed.

  2. I felt this same sense when I stayed with my cousin for an evening in MN in November. He and his wife have an 11 year old boy, 10 year old twin girls, and a 5 year old boy. My cousin is a full time mechanic, and his wife owns with her siblings a construction company. They met me for dinner with the children, then stayed up past midnight to chat with me, then were up before 6am to get the kids ready, went to work, came home and did it all again. I could see the exhaustion on their faces, and in the way they held their bodies, but what was so much more amazing was how much I could see how they absolutely loved their children and every moment with them. I was just in complete awe at their endurance and strength. It is an amazing thing to see for sure.

  3. coffeenut79 says:

    Your post really encouraged me. I constantly forget how strong I really am as a mother of two and dealing with life as it is. I do get tired, but I will say this – The strength isn’t mine. God gives me strength when mine runs out.
    There are days when my patience runs out with my stubborn three year old, but sometimes it just takes a few seconds for me to remember that this is just a fleeting phase that we have to work through. The awesome part of it is the next moment, I’m laughing and enjoying my time with the little monkey. It goes the same with my daughter, only I find that, with her, I have to be smarter and quicker with her. At the end of the day, when they go to bed, I am thankful that God gives me a chance to breath until I hear one of them call for me, “Mommy! I’m thirsty.” or when they have a bad dream.
    I know I am aiming to run a 5k one of these days, but, thanks to you, little brother, I can say I am already an endurance athlete. 😉

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