Tuesday, May 25, 2010

The Hills Part 2: Struggles

Without realizing it, I live by some pretty hefty urban hills, most of them long and some of them long and steep!  The first being the hill I live on, go figure as I am searching for hills to run, my road is a big long hill on each side of a main drag. Here is the view up one side: 

I took off down the hill and then up it and headed into the residential area following more long hills around to behind the Walker Art Center. 

The Walker is of course, a nationally known Modern Art Museum and this pic is me trying to squish the blue walking bridge that leads from the park to their fantastic sculpture gardens! 

I bet even you non midwesterners know our famous spoon and cherry :

Enough goofing, I took off up the steep hills behind the art center and worked on my running form: Fore foot to mid foot strike (SUPER easy on a hill), pumping arms, leaning into the hill, light quick steps. I ran 3 miles total of some pretty urban hills! 

Turns out, I really like hills, because I don't like to give up on challenges. 

I was talking with a friend of mine, also a blogger and I confided in her that I don't talk about ALL my challenges and struggles here on my blog. I am sure you can ALL relate, there are somethings we just keep to ourselves, things that are personal challenges. 

You guys have heard me talk about my feeling mediocre in the past, about being a trainer and not being a superwoman, about being a fitness instructor and not being the fittest in the class, about my not feeling smart. 

There are many other things I struggle with that I don't share, some of them because the blog isn't the place to talk about them and some of them because as universal as they are, they are still personal. I struggle with some fears of my future-- being so positive about it just helps to boost me up and although I have complete faith in God's promise to cover me with his wing, the unknown can be a bit daunting. I talk my way through it! 

I am single, but desire so much to be married with kids. It can be discouraging to always be in a waiting place and there are sometimes when that gets the best of me and I cry. BUT I can either see this as a waiting time or as prep time. I have talked a lot in the blog about preparation. When opportunity comes, it's too late to prepare! And I have learned to be selective and specific and now know that I am not waiting for an IF, I am waiting for a WHEN. 

Also, leaving my job was a huge leap and very exciting, but it was also a gigantic change. I think sometimes I make it seem like a big warm fuzzy everyday when I wake up, but it was a long and painful journey as I fought to discover who I really was and where I belonged. 

Being in jobs that didn't fit with my desires or even talents at times was NO fun, draining and left me many, many nights in tears. The leap was as about following my dreams, but it was about honoring myself too and what I deserved. 

This journey of mine, losing weight, getting sober, learning to find my value in Christ and my talents, reaching out and taking hold of my "Dream Job" with so many odds against me, but the most important supporter behind me, well...it's a journey that I had to go on. And it's no where near done. The thing about universal struggles and challenges is that despite being so universal they are often so close to our hearts that we don't open them up wide for everyone to see too often. 

 We are all at the bottom of our own hill: Steep, long, slippery and it can appear HUGE. 

They are probably bigger than the outward struggles we have, the points we count, the workouts we blog about.  Many of us are facing significant struggles hills ahead of us. Don't give up on your hills, your challenges! Tackle them one step at a time and look around you, there are others there to help you and to cheer you on!  Psalms 37:23-24 says "The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD: and he delighteth in his way. Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down: for the LORD upholdeth him with his hand." You have more supporters than you realize!

See you at the TOP!


Shan said...

This post is so moving. Thank you, Mary! It is helpful to think of life challenges as a hilly journey, especially since my main running route is filled with BIG hills so literal hills are something I think about quite often! I think I will take some time on my next hilly run (tonight) to think about my current life challenges as just like my hilly running route. A tough journey, but one that can be surmounted. (And by the way, I know exactly what blocks behind the Walker you are talking about and YES, they are VERY hilly!!!)

Joey said...

Beautiful post! :)

Anonymous said...

This is a very impressive and inspiring post. Almost skipped my run today but now motivated! Like all, my journey is unique but hilly too! So off to get my run in, will be checking back. Keep hope in your heart. You have it for sure!

Missy said...

GREAT great post today!!

Mary said...

Thanks for your comments you guys! Sometimes I feel like I am a little fake ray of sunshine, but it is such a part of who I am, despite that, I face huge challenges like anyone else, it's all how we handle things! Shan-It's so cool to know you will be sorting the hills of life out as we run them, I am not alone! :)

That Pink Girl said...

I just LOVE your attitude. You are SO inspirational! Your clients will be abundantly blessed to have you. I can only imagine how many people you will take from "I can't" to "I DID IT!"

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