I began training for my marathon in March 2012. I was growing stronger, getting faster, and covering greater distances. I was feeling so "ready" that I decided to sign up for a Half Marathon a month and a half before my FULL Marathon was scheduled. I was told to take it easy in this race, but of course I pushed myself further than I should have. I ended up injured.
I injured what's called the "I.T. Band," a tendon that connects your hip and your knee. It made it impossible to run over 4 miles without sudden, sharp pain. I was told by a Doctor that the only way to heal this injury was..."Don't run." That knocked me out of my marathon I had scheduled. I was devastated.
I took a few months off of running and hit the gym, instead. After 3 months off, I hit the road again. I trained for the next 6 months for my second attempt at the full marathon. Exactly three weeks prior to the race, I injured my I.T. Band AGAIN!!! I had a lot of people telling me, "You just weren't meant to run the full marathon. You should just pull out of the race. Call it quits!"
I will admit, I entertained the idea. I thought of pulling out of the marathon, but I had trained too long and hard for this. I took a couple of weeks off to rest the injury, but ran the race anyway. I felt great for the first 8 miles. Then, at mile 8, the I.T. Band injury flared up - big time! I had to run the next 18 miles in severe pain. But, I didn't quit! I crossed the finish line LONG after I had hoped to, but I DIDN'T QUIT!! I am so glad I FINISHED!
LESSON #2 - "Don't Quit!"
Often, we set goals in life and in ministry only to be met with major setbacks and disappointments. It would be easy to listen to the voices in the crowd saying, "You probably just weren't meant to achieve this goal. You should probably think of a different goal. Call it quits!" DON'T YOU DO IT! Keep pressing on! Keep praying! Keep relying on God! Don't QUIT!
"Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest IF WE DO NOT GIVE UP." - Galatians 6:9
What has God called you to do? What obstacles have you already faced on your way to the goal? Are there voices (whether others or even yourself) telling you to quit? What are some things you do to "press on toward the goal to win the prize?"
"Don't Quit" by Rev. E.L. Smallwood
When things go wrong, as they sometimes will,
When the road you’re trudging seems all uphill,
When the funds are low and the debts are high,
And you want to smile, but you have to sigh,
When care is pressing you down a bit-
Rest if you must, but don’t you quit.
Life is queer with its twists and turns,
As every one of us sometimes learns,
And many a fellow turns about
When he might have won had he stuck it out.
Don’t give up though the pace seems slow -
You may succeed with another blow.
Often the goal is nearer than
It seems to a faint and faltering man;
Often the struggler has given up
When he might have captured the victor’s cup;
And he learned too late when the night came down,
How close he was to the golden crown.
Success is failure turned inside out -
The silver tint in the clouds of doubt,
And you never can tell how close you are,
It might be near when it seems afar;
So stick to the fight when you’re hardest hit -
It’s when things seem worst that you must not quit.