Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us,--Hebrews 12:1

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Speed Work Sucks!

That's what a kid told me today.

If you don't know, I've been going to school and working with the cross country team the past couple of weeks. I love to run, and I love to work with kids, so this is a fun and productive way to spend some time this summer. But I have to say I agree with this kid, speed work is tough.

Today we had the kids running 400 meter repeats, one fast lap around the track, rest for a couple of minutes then another. They did 10 of these and most were sucking wind before the end of the 10th. They next had a break that lasted about 5 minutes followed by a hard mile. The kids were told to run that mile at a pace that made it difficult to speak. Finally, they got to take it easy when they ran a final cool down mile at an easy pace.

Some of you may be thinking, "That's just 4.5 miles. It shouldn't be so bad." Well, it is just 4.5 miles, but if you think it's not bad please try it. Pushing your pace to the max on every lap and that next to last mile. Speed work is tough, no doubt about it.

I can honestly say I love to run, but I won't lie and say I even somewhat like speed work. I'd much rather do a 10 mile long run than the 4.5 miles we put on these kids today. But just like in life, to reach your potential sometimes you've just got to do things you don't like to do.
"3Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4 perseverance, character; and character, hope." -- Romans 5:3-4
When you think about it, it's not the good days, or the easy days that build your strength, your confidence, and your endurance. If all we ever had were the easy days in life, we'd never be challenged. We'd never be forced to do more than we thought we could. We'd be limited to our current ability level because it's comfortable.

We'd never get stronger, smarter, or tougher. We'd more than likely fall backwards, getting weaker, dumber, and more fragile.
"I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world." -- John 16:33
Challenges in our life build us up, teach us that we can endure and survive more than we think possible. I don't know anyone, rich or poor, strong or weak, fast or slow, who gets through life without tough times. Jesus certainly promised us that everyone will face tough times on this earth. But those who succeed are those who don't quit when times get tough. They're the ones who keep stepping into the wind, swimming against the current, and climbing up life's hills.

Few fight through life's battles with a smile on their face. Usually we're all just like that kid when we find ourselves scratching and clawing our way through our own trials. We don't consider it fun when we're fighting through our struggles.

But...when we look back after the weather breaks and the sky clears, we can often crack a smile, point back at the tempest behind us, and proudly proclaim to others, "I just came through that." Because we know, we're stronger, smarter, and tougher.

Yeah. Speed work sucks. But when it's over, we're stronger and faster than we were before, than we would be without it. We fight through the pain and misery of the training because it builds our endurance, teaches us we can do more than we ever thought, and improves our performance.

Speed work, just like the trials we face in life, builds perseverance, character, and hope within us. You don't have to smile during your workout, but you can sure smile when you're finished.

If you don't know Jesus as your personal savior, if you're missing the faith, hope, and love written about here, if you want the peace that we as Christians have in our lives, please visit our Got Jesus? page for step-by-step instructions on how to accept Jesus Christ as your personal Savior.

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