I forced myself to put one foot in front of the other at an accelerated pace, despite the fact that my lungs protested and my body told me no.
With my mind taking precedence over my matter, I pushed through to the end of the interval as the voice coach on my running app spoke sweet words through my headphones: “interval complete.”
I slowed to a walk as I took greedy gulps of air, trying to find oxygen in the humidity of Georgia’s late summer heat.
The sun’s rays were harsh, and the half mile walk back home suddenly seemed impossible. Why did I think this was a good idea?
In the pain of the process, I lost sight of what I was working toward. I wasn’t doing this training program because it was fun or easy.
I was training because I was building something that would serve me well in future races – endurance.
What I’m learning in my exercise routine, I’m learning in the process of growing a business too.
Different paces build endurance.
We’re women on mission, which means most of us feel like we always have to be ‘on’ – chasing the next big thing, making that new connection, and never stopping the hustle.
The hustle is good, but so is rest. To be successful, to grow in the endurance that will allow us to leave a legacy, we need both.
Interval training helps build endurance because the intermittent intensity works different muscle groups and allows for a combination of intensity and recovery that builds overall endurance. A faster pace engages new muscle groups and helps them grow stronger, but the faster pace can’t be maintained forever, making rest a necessary part of the process.
The same is true for the pace of our lives as well. Sometimes we have to push through the pain of a new training pace, where the constant “hustle” is necessary – like the launch of a new product, the overhaul of that website, or the startup season of a new business. We’re not supposed to keep that pace forever though. We need seasons to recover too.
The Bible tells us in Ecclesiastes that there’s a season for everything. Just like the seasons in nature, our seasons are designed to grow us in specific ways.
There’s a time for the hard work and the constant motion of plowing that allows us to prepare for the planting, and there’s the rest of the wait as what we’ve planted begins to take root and grow. The wait gives us respite so we have energy for the harvest, and the hard work of the harvest ensures that there is food to eat so the field can lay fallow in preparation for the next season of planting.
No season is wasted, and every one is essential to the overall process of production.
When in doubt, focus on your breathing.
Hebrew scholars suggest that with every breath we take, we are producing the sound of the name of God. For every inhale “YAH,” for every exhale “WEH.” Based on this idea, God is literally our breath of life. There are days that feel like a marathon training session that just won’t end, but even in these moments, we can find the rhythm we need that will help us put one foot in front of the other if we focus on our source of life.
If we breathe him in, His oxygen will carry us through.
Always trust your coach.
God’s not just a good Father, He’s a good coach, too. Listen to Him. Follow Him. Believe Him when he tells you that it’s time to grit your teeth and push through instead of giving up and letting go.
He’s already told us that faith is like running a race, and the main point of running is to learn that we have what it takes to endure.
He knows where your race is going to be run, and He knows the best training routine to help you build endurance for your unique course. Your course may have lots of hills. It may lead you through humid environments. High altitudes may require extra lung capacity.
Whatever training you’re going through, know this – you can trust your coach. Whatever He’s leading you through, it’s for your good and His glory.
He’s going to get you to the finish line. With His help, you’re growing in your capability to run whatever race is set before you.
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