Fit Friday: Live Strong!

This past weekend I completed my second race. I am a beginner at running but now that I have completed two races, I have learned that the race is not just a physical race but there is a lot going on mentally that interferes with the race process. Just getting the number on my shirt is a mental hurdle. Having a peace of mind while I wait for the gun shot is the next hurdle. Then there’s the hurdle of people passing you on the right and left – and the fear of finishing last.

In both races, I ran with friends – some are beginners like me and some are more seasoned runners. I have chosen to let my more experienced friends be my “pace setters”. But in both races, my pace setters were moving faster than I could keep up with and I had to battle whether to “give up” and let them run on ahead of me or whether I would take the challenge and push through the pain and stay with them.
In this race, I took the water cup at the one mile marker and it went up my nose! Lovely – see I told you I am a beginner!!! Drowning yourself during a race is not highly recommended!! At that point, mentally I checked out and I had to let my pace setter go. As I watched her run away from me in her hot pink shorts – the label that went around her waist read in large letters “LIVE STRONG”. Oh it was a dagger – I’m just not strong enough to stick with her – physically, I did not have it in me. Mentally, I did not have it in me.
BUT I could not give up and just walk. I was in a race and I was going to finish – so after walking about 10 steps and catching my breath – those words “LIVE STRONG” continued to go through my mind. I lifted my feet – (that now felt like they had lead in them) – and I began to run again. I wasn’t sure I had it in me as I came around the final corner and headed up a steep hill to the finish line – but then I saw the face of my dear friend Clare – (that’s her cheering in the photo) – her face and her words of encouragement – made me feel stronger for the finish when I felt weak.

Live strong! Do not give up! In this race of life – there will be mental battles – thoughts about not measuring up, not being good enough, feeling like we are a failure as a wife, mother or homemaker. We may feel like people are “passing us” or like we are drowning! When you feel weary do not give up – lean hard on God to give you the strength you don’t have. Live strong!
Galatians 6:9 is my life verse and it says “Do not grow weary in doing good, for in due season you will reap a harvest IF YOU DO NOT GIVE UP.”
If you feel weary today – fall on your knees and cry out to God for strength and then get up and lift your weary legs and do the right thing. If you are not struggling… BE the pace setter and the cheerleader for someone else today! Help a weary soul along their journey – be a source of strength and encouragement as we run the race of life together and live strong!

Walk with the King!


  1. Great job! You are right – the mental part of running a race can be bigger than the physical. One time I ran a 5K and I was really running out of steam as I heard someone yell, "One more mile!" I thought they were joking and I was mad that I felt so spent at only the two mile mark. When I crossed the finish line I was so disappointed in my time. A few minutes later, they announced that the course had been marked wrong and we actually ran 4 miles!
    Thanks for this – this is inspiring as I am training for my next race in September!

  2. If you decide to expand your efforts into cycling, you should consider riding the Jack & Back ride for MS with me in Nashville! This will be my 3rd year, and it's a great event! 🙂

  3. MENTAL MENTAL MENTAL… for sure! Sometimes it even helps to not think of the distance you've got to go, but how far you've already ran. OR even not think about distance at all, but rather… "I'm going to run for about 19 minutes… I can do anything for 19 minutes…" Then push and keep people in your mind that inspire you or those you want to inspire… I think of my kids and want them to see that their mom can do something she sets her mind to, and also of many who are inspirational to me. Now in my training I often think of Melana and everything she has been through… what I'm doing is by choice and it's nothing compared to what she has faced at her mere 9 years of age! Lastly, my friend ran her first full marathon last year and she dedicated EACH mile to a loved one. She said she'd be thinking about and praying for them "their entire mile". She also told them that they were to hold her accountable and follow up by asking if she completed "their mile" well! I think that is a wonderful tool and idea! She even wrote each perosn a letter telling them what they meant to her and which mile was "theirs" etc! I think I'd need a "cheat sheet" to remember 26 names in order!!!!

  4. Courtney,
    Congratulations on completing your second race. Running teaches us how to live. You live in the moment, put one foot in front of the other, be persistent and patient, faster doesn't mean better, enjoy the journey and don't focus on the destination. It's a great time to pray, reflect, and enjoy the beautiful world God has given us.

    Your last paragraph was exactly what I needed today! Thank you. Keep up the good work.

    Diana-I did have a cheat sheet…I wrote everybody's name on my hat! I also had a cheat sheet in my SpiBelt because I couldn't read what I wrote on my hat while running. 🙂

    Run for fun,

  5. Tina – are you running in the Akron Marathon?

    Mommy Secrets -wow that's an awesome cause to cycle for! G8 idea!

    Diana – I love the idea of praying through a list of people like that – I did that tonight – just one person a mintue while I ran three miles on the treadmill – time flew and it was great! Thanks for the idea!

    Hope – I enjoyed her website! Thanks for stopping by! And I'll be stopping back to yours for some pointers and inspiration!

  6. Courtney, you have hit on why I love running so much – it's a great metaphor for life! Sometimes, running is hard. There are days you feel like your legs are full of lead…days when you don't feel like getting out there at all. Life is very much like that. The awesome thing, though, is that we have a Savior who never leaves our side and is right with us – in good times and bad, when it's easy, and when we struggle, encouraging us to keep going and finish strong. Some of my favorite verses are about running: Heb. 12:1, 1 Cor. 9:24, and Phil. 3:12-14. It's easy to get caught up in the competitiveness, but the important thing to remember is to do the best that you can, and run for the prize. 🙂

  7. What a great picture, Courtney. Thank you for sharing your race with us. And thank you for sharing your "life race" with us, too!

  8. This is an AWESOME site very wonderful, This is a great influence on young adults I have to admit it is on me. I will thank your sister for showing me this site :).

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