Comfort Zone

Sheesh! It’s been a week. Nothing noteworthy, just the usual junk. I started this blog for a multitude of reasons. 1) To allow an outlet for all the thoughts that crowded into my brain during and after a run. 2) To keep myself accountable, and, 3) To encourage others who are facing the same struggles that I do.

All of these are important reasons, but lately, the most important one seems to be to keep my head in the game. Which it hasn’t been for at least a month.

I’ve been looking for inspiration everywhere. My ITB issue has flared up again, and, I’ll be honest, it’s really pissing me off. There. I said it.

I read a lot of blogs and magazine articles, many of which I derive motivation and inspiration from. I read a blog by a local runner recently, though, that did nothing but discourage me. To be fair, I’m sure that wasn’t her intent. She began running in her 50’s, and this post was about some of her achievements. She has had many age group wins, as well as masters, and even a few overall awards. Now, I don’t begrudge her those awards (mostly), but it wasn’t really the motivational material that I needed at this moment in my training. I’m happy for her (I guess), but, in the real world, those of us who aren’t naturally gifted at this struggle. A lot. I’m slow and prone to injury. I’ve won a few age group awards, but they have generally been in small races where my age group wasn’t represented in strong numbers. I’m slow. Lately, I’ve felt that I’m old. And, I need a fresh dose of inspiration.

Enter my daughter. My beautiful, talented daughters inspire me often. But, this week, my youngest daughter breathed fresh life into a stale training program. I’m still struggling, but I have more motivation than I did before. Let me tell you why.

My youngest daughter is a lot like her mother. She struggles academically. Not in everything – like her mother, words come easily, so the liberal arts are a “gimme”. However, math and science are not. She is right brained; creative, artistic, snarky, wordy… all the things that go along with being the “creative” type. But, she has chosen for herself a road that is not easy. On a mission trip to Nicaragua a few years ago, God revealed His plan for her to be a dentist… Wait, what????

So, she went back to school, got a few semesters under her belt in a community college (where she excelled), and began her first semester at a four year institution this fall. She has a really difficult course load this fall, WAY outside her comfort zone, including trigonometry, chemistry, and biology (among other things, like Spanish 3). And, she’s struggling. Particularly with trig. This isn’t inside her comfort zone, and she’s having to stretch herself in ways that make her hurt. Being her father and mother’s child, though, she’s not giving up. She’s digging deep, looking for outside help, pulling out all the stops to be successful. She’s seeking God’s will in her life.

She humbles me.

I’m not a natural runner. I’ll never be on an Olympic team, or even a consistent age group contender. But, I love running. And, I’m looking for the magic that happens when I push outside my comfort zone. It hasn’t happened yet. But, I’m ever hopeful.


4 thoughts on “Comfort Zone

  1. mizunogirl says:

    You’ll find it!!! I imagine when writing this you didn’t think this would be inspiring to anyone, but I LOVED reading this!!! I went on a mission trip to Nicaragua once, and I am SO glad that God did not reveal that I would become a Dentist. What an awesome mission. I really wish your Daughter the best with this. She of course…is a lot like you, an amazing woman of God.
    When I meet someone who seems intent on highlighting their accomplishments- especially in something like running….I often wonder what they are trying to make up for in their life with those accomplishments….I actually do not care too much about others accomplishments (except in one arena which I am about to blog about ha ha) but I hate when they choose to brag and not use those accomplishments to help others. You…on the other hand…are a consistent inspiration to me…the wonderful way that you leaned into God’s promises during that horrific accident and held it together… I really wish you’d consider running Jax Bank Half… And go get a sports massage for that hideous IT band!!!


  2. Randy Arnau says:

    As someone who spent at least half of his life with an extremely small comfort zone, I can definitely relate! I am finally going to my very first group exercise class at the gym tomorrow, which is definitely out of my comfort zone…..I always enjoy your blogs! I saw an awesome sunrise on my way to run the other day, and thought of you, because I knew you would have stopped to take a picture.


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