Ask anyone that has run a marathon, miles 20-22 are the hardest miles of the race. At this point your mind starts thinking what the heck am I doing out here. Your body is hurting and you are not thinking about the accomplishment of the 20 miles you have run and only 6.2 miles to go. You’re thinking with emotions. You’re thinking 6.2 miles feels like an eternity. All life’s goals and breakthroughs are that way. Just before you can see the sunrise it is the darkest part of night. These 4 things helped me to push through the barriers and finish the race.
1. Get out of emotion: Emotions are fickle; they are either high or low. When the race started my body wanted to go faster and I had adrenaline running through my body, it was key to slow myself down. At 20 miles my emotions where the opposite. 6.2 miles seemed closer to 6.2 years. I stopped asking how I felt and put one painful foot in front of the other.
2. Leave the drama: Why did my mind go to emotions? Drama, that ugly word everyone hates but we all have. Anytime we are not present we are in drama. I was thinking about how far I had come and how the race had affected my body. I felt like a victim. I had a cold, cramped legs, and it was hot. Poor me why oh why, wallowing in my misery. The key was to stop thinking about the situation or the mileage and just enjoy myself in spite of the aches and pain.
3. Replenish yourself: In a marathon about every two miles they have water and a snack of gummy bears or pretzels. Why? Because the amount of calories, salt, and water your body expends. Replenishing at least part of what you have burned is very important if you want to stand at the finish line. I try to read my Bible every morning and get time alone for the same reason. I need to be filed back up to pursue the race with a fire and energy to break through the hump in the road.
4. Remember the why: The why helped me remove the drama and emotion. With everything we need to understand the why behind the goal we are pursuing. The why makes us brave. Most of the time we don’t take the time to ask the why, but this is very important. I would be willing to even lose my life for the right why. For my faith and family are just two of them. The why in these two things are greater than life itself to me. The why is large enough to do what would be impossible without it.
If the road is tough you may be close to a break through! Remember the why, replenish your reserves and get your mind focused on the present. As it says in Philippians 3:14, “I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” So press on toward the goal today by understanding the greater why behind it all. Be blessed in the marathon of life.