When I was young I had always had a hobby interest in sports. I say hobby interest because I was on a soccer team but definitely did cartwheels when the ball wasn’t on my end of the field. When I got into middle school and we could try out for sports in school, I learned I should have paid closer attention to all of my coaches and games in tot soccer. After rejection from roughly 2-3 sports teams in the spring season, I decided to join track. Track tended to be for serious runners but also for the misfit “athletes” who did not make other teams. I ended up enjoying it and was on the track team from 7-10 grade. I was never a great runner but through being at practice five days a week I tended to not hate it.
I dropped my interest in running as much throughout the end of high school and ran a couple of 5ks in college just to see if I had any sort of athletic ability left. Once I dropped out of college and started working full time, working out and running seemed to escape my interest completely. After a while I needed to bring some version of exercise into my life so I obviously tried every class and fitness trend I could. They were fine but I was never accomplishing anything and would eventually stop or leave whatever trendy fitness center I was at.
Then one day someone said something rather piercing to me, they said they couldn’t trust me because I don’t follow through on things. I am a bit of a dreamer and planner of too far in the future so I understood the sentiment but in my head I had to prove them wrong, and prove that it didn’t define me. I thought back to something I could work on and accomplish: running. I decided I would attempt a half marathon.
For the next few months I half-heartedly “trained” and rolled up to the half marathon feeling a little less than prepared. Needless to say, I failed. I hit mile 9 and because I hadn’t trained I didn’t know how to push through my wall and just finish the thing. This was in 2017 and I was very discouraged and disappointed in myself. I realized that person was right and I couldn’t complete something. I let it define me for a long time, but I knew I had to complete what I set out to do.
The next set of training started six months after I failed at my first half marathon. This time my co-worker Jaden joined me in training and helped pull me through the first few weeks when I wanted to do anything after work except run. We trained for 5 months running 3-4 times every single week. I put a lot into running and making sure I kept up with my long runs.
After 5 months of hard work I woke up early and sick for the Rochester half marathon. It was long, it was hard, but I had trained and I have never felt so accomplished as when I crossed that finish line. I had completed what I set out to do and I could say I kept my word. Was it in a timely fashion? Not so much, but I was able to redefine how I looked at myself.
After I accomplished this I had a revelation, I was letting the wrong things get to me and letting the wrong words have influence over me. We cannot let people define us because people are fickle. Not only that but if their words can define us, those people can control us. There is a perfect God in heaven that should be the only one that defines your worth. The words that we should be leaning in on for our self worth are in the Bible. By letting people define me I lost my self-confidence and really couldn’t accomplish all that I wanted to. When I fully leaned into defining myself by what God thinks of me I was able to feel self-worth and self-confidence again. Lean into the word of God and remember you are always worth more in His Kingdom.