Life Lessons From Half Marathons

Posted by Kaley Thompson This weekend I ran my first half marathon. Here’s some life lessons I learned before crossing the finish line.

You Will Always Catch A Second Wind. When I started training, someone told me “Everyone has a second wind. Most people just don’t run long enough to find it.” Isn’t that true about so many things? Marriage gets hard and instead of pushing through we want to bail. Final exams are coming up and you feel like your brain is going to explode so you turn on the TV. Even in the Bible, God promises Joshua and his army that if they’ll walk around Jericho seven times, shout and sound their horns the walls will come falling down and the land will be theirs (Joshua 6). Don’t you think after walking around an entire town for six days they wanted to quit? I know I did after just six miles. But something incredible happens when you decide to push through the pain. God uses your weakness to accomplish something with His strength. A second wind picks you back up. Walls fall down. You finish stronger than you started.

“We’re Only Half Crazy.” As I lined up under the big floating "start" balloon, three women in matching lime green t-shirts came to stand in front of me. They were high-fiving each other, sharing a pack of M & M’s and offering encouragement to everyone around them.  Back-to-back-to-back their shirts read “We’re only half crazy.”  I can’t help but think the world needs some more of these "half crazy" people. Those who are willing to endure hard things. Who share with each other. Who are insane enough to believe we can all finish well and do our best at life.

You Are Capable Of More Than You Realize. I didn’t know I could run 13.1 miles until I set a goal to run 13.1 miles. Prior I had only ran about six and I believed that’s as far as I could go. Which made me realize that this is a common theme in all nature. If you put a fish in a small tank, it will along get as big as its four walls will let it. Plants only grow as large as their pots.  So what are we actually capable of that we don’t know we are? Quitting our addiction once and for all.  Going back to church.  Leading our family.  Applying for the job we don’t feel qualified for.  Yes, we can do hard things if we’ll remove the boundaries we’ve put around our abilities and trust in a limitless God.

Running a half marathon may not be a bit appealing to you. But you are probably in the midst of something that is really hard. You have a goal you’re stretching to reach or a season of life that you just wish would end. No matter how hard it gets, don’t give up on yourself or your God. Be crazy enough to believe you can finish this strong. And set out this day knowing you are capable of great, wonderful and mighty things.

Kaley Thompson is the chief storyteller at People of the Second Chance. She lives in Charlotte, NC and wears a sparkly motorcycle helmet.

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