"I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith."
I recently completed my first marathon as a mom. Although I had completed 7 marathons before that (and 3 Ironmans), this was new territory for me. Breastfeeding (two), pushing a stroller for miles, and just getting out...the...door became harder than anything I had ever done.
But when marathon day came - and I saw my kiddos standing along the finish chute, cheering me on, giving me kisses, and wanting my medal, all the tears, pain, and hard days were more than worth it. Even more so was that feeling of accomplishment, knowing that I had truly done my best in what God had called me to do during that season.
Sweet friend, I don't know where you are right now, but I'm urging you to finish your race. Maybe physically you have been training for our Better Together 5k or maybe a half-marathon or marathon, but the covid-19 health crises has thrown you off track (I get it). Maybe spiritually you have been showing up in the word and going about your day living out your calling, but the news has made you feel blindsided. And maybe you went from consistency in your faith and training to fear and then to sadness, like I did for a few days after school and business closings in our area. And that's OK for a moment.
But friend, take heart. Just like in our training, nothing ever goes as planned in this life. We WILL have hard days and tough moments. But don't give up. This is what we train for - the good times and the hard times in our race!
I don't say this lightly. There were so many times in my marathon training when I had to push a double stroller against the wind for miles. There were so many days I would text my husband during my run, "The 3 yr old is screaming and kicking now. I can't do this..." My husband would remind me that I COULD finish my run and I WOULD finish my race if I kept on going (after calming a little boy too).
We all go through hardships and battles - in training and life. But let us learn through these battles to hold tight to the Lord, to focus on what HE is doing through us, and not ourselves.
Don't give up. Don't lose hope. You did not come this far to STOP, stall, and fall down again. This crisis will pass someday and I hope you can say you have continued on in your training and your calling.
Stay the course in whatever you are facing right now. Run the race that God has set before you. Don't worry about anyone else. Don't look at your obstacles and all the odds stacked up against you. Ignore the people and the things that try to pull you down.
Focus on the finish line and where God has called you in this life. Fight the fight. Finish the race. Keep the faith.
Keep on keeping on friends!
Patty Pittman ~ CTC Influencer
Patty is a CPT, run and triathlon coach, 3x Ironman finisher, 7x marathoner, and mother of four. With a great understanding of the physiological requirements of training for endurance sports along with the demands of motherhood, she enjoys working with women in all seasons of life. She has coached beginners to their first 5k finish line and fitness enthusiasts to become marathon finishers. She has helped athletes reach their personal best times and achieve life-long fitness goals. Patty also specializes in helping women to reduce body fat composition and increase lean muscle through strength training and improving dietary habits. She works with her husband in Fayetteville, Arkansas, coaching full time athletes at their business Fit 2 Endure Coaching.
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