Wednesday, December 14, 2011

The Devil Went Down to Dallas

Two and a half weeks ago I completed one of the biggest challenges of my life, I ran and finished my first half marathon (13.1 miles).  In mid-August I decided that to celebrate me entering my 30s I wanted to run a half marathon.  Crazy I know, but it sounded like a great challenge and a great way to help distract me from other unexpected life changes.  I thought about running a full marathon, but didn't think I'd be ready and figured I'd better start out small :)  So thus came the decision to enter the Dallas White Rock Half Marathon and luckily I had the privilege to train with Team in Training, a part of the Lymphoma and Leukemia Society.  Not only was a able to train with an amazing group of people, but I was able to raise money for cancer research in the process as well.  I finished the half marathon in record time (for me anyway).  I completed it in 2 hours, 1 minute, and 21 seconds averaging my best pace of about 9 minute miles.  I was extraordinarily impressed with myself especially considering it was 40 degrees that day in Dallas and rained through the majority of my race.  I had run in rain before and had run in the cold, but never the two together.  Not only was I doing something I'd never done before, but in weather I had never done it in before either.  It couldn't have been a better day (well, other than no rain of course).

The thing of it is I had the best time training and God showed me so much about myself and things of my past and present that took me by surprise and helped me grow (and continue to grow) beyond belief.  Years ago in middle school I chose to run cross country so that I could continue in the Athletics program at school.  I found that I loved it and continued on through the track season that year and cross country again in my eighth grade year.  However in the midst of all that is when I became very self conscious of my body and used running to feed my desire to lose weight I didn't need to lose and thus began my struggle for 6 and a half years with an eating disorder.  I look back now I see how the Devil stole my joy for something I loved and was good at.  He came to steal, kill, and destroy... and he nearly did, but at the end of the day it was the Lord who saved me and healed me.  Now here I am 17 years later and I'm finally running again, having completely forgotten how much I loved it and how much freedom it brings me.  When I am out there I am completely uninhibited.  I don't care what others think about my running style, or what I'm wearing or the fact that I'm mouthing the words to whatever song happens to be playing on my iPod at the time.  When I am outside running I am just Cristyn, not who anyone else wants me to be... I'm just that girl out running.

"You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives." ~ Genesis 50:20

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