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Saturday, January 18, 2014

The Struggle: How to Overcome the Impossible

Tuesday, I couldn’t decide if I wanted to cry or go back to bed. My body ached and I couldn’t seem to get past the misery. I moped around and finally drug myself to gym—expecting my workout to lift my spirits. My experience, however, was not what I hoped for.

My body felt heavy and uncooperative. Ignoring all negativity, I decided to run. It was hard, okay brutal. My rib hurt, a blister developed on my foot after the first mile, and my legs were heavy. Being the stubborn person that I am, I refused to give up—even when my legs felt numb. So I pushed beyond my limits.

And then the treadmill just stopped. I was furious. It was like the machine knew that I didn’t have enough sense to step off, so it just quit. Instead of stretching and leaving, I went to the elliptical for a few miles. Every movement hurt and I realized after two miles that I couldn’t do it. I tried to dig deep, but I had nothing left to give. Defeated, I grabbed my things and left.

At the time, I couldn’t see that I had still managed three miles with numbness and tingling in my feet and legs. Then I remembered my daddy’s words of wisdom, “You’re doing better than what you think”.

Instead of feeling better though, I dwelled on what I couldn’t do. And I believed what I had always assumed and been told.

Running was impossible for me—especially with a twisted pelvis and a foot affected by Amniotic Band Syndrome.

It was so hard for me to accept my limitations. But I tried. I even attempted to forgive my body for not being able to do something I truly wanted to do. Who am I kidding? It hurt. And I don’t like the disability card. Ever!

So I went back for one more attempt on Thursday. And I decided to try a new approach. When I set the treadmill to run the 5k, I began with a smile and praise for my Lord. As my feet pounded, I thanked God for every step, and for letting me not only walk that day, but for the ability to run. I prayed for all of those who are not able to walk and run, those fighting for their lives, and those who have heartaches and troubles.

When I reached the part where my whole body ached, I put one foot in front of the other and smiled at my reflection. I was only a mile into my run, when the screen showed that my course would get harder. For a moment, I wanted to stop. Step off the machine and agree with the doctors and the negative voice in my head—that I couldn’t run.

Then I realized it is during the most challenging times in our lives that we learn how to overcome. My legs were still moving. It was my mind that wanted to give up. So I focused on how it would feel to complete my course. And I’ll be quite honest, I imagined every time my foot came down that I was stopping on the devil, who threatened to steal my hopes and dreams.

With my heart and spirit, I finished my first 5k program. It took me 40 minutes to do my impossible.  I can do anything with God on my side.

While my aches and pains prove that I fought the battle, I also have the victory written in my heart. And that victory will remind me on the tough days to keep my eyes on my Lord.

Last year when walking was difficult for me, I lay in my bed and peddled an exercise bike that sat on my bed. When my feet were numb and painful, I pushed with my heart and the determination that I would get better.

The enemy will take our lives if we allow it. We need to fight with every ounce of strength we can manage. Every day we are in the biggest battle of our lives, and we get to decide what kind of solider we want to be. I want to fight a good fight. If we give up every time our course gets tough then we will never reach our full potential.

We have no idea what we are capable of until we try.  I have no limits, only possibilities waiting to be conquered.

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