Saturday, September 11, 2010

Winning the Race

Entry #20

I've been so erratic with my posts. It seems I should make some kind of commitment to post a certain number of times per week, but am hesitant to do that. Sometimes there just doesn't seem much to write about.

A couple of days ago I was doing some reading in a little daily devotional magazine entitled "Magnificat". It has hymns, daily morning, evening and Mass prayers, as well as Bible readings, reflections, and interesting stories about different saints. On Thursday the song for morning prayer had the lines "Let us throw off all that hinders; Let us run the race to win!" All through my morning prayer and Bible reading time I couldn't get those lines out of my head. They made me face a truth in my life.

For most of my life I've put forth just enough effort at what I do to get the job done, but not much more. I'm embarassed to admit that, but it's true. I could have done much better in high school and college had I wanted to put more effort in my studies. With the exception of math, school came fairly easy to me and as long as I passed my classes, that's all I cared about.

When I started teaching I did put much more of myself into my work. It would be very hard to stay in this profession if you aren't willing to go the extra mile for the kids. Also, working all but one of my 23 years as a teacher in small schools, it was necessary to pitch in on almost all school projects. When there was something to be done, there usually wasn't a committee appointed. The teaching staff was the committee!

After thinking and journaling about the lines from that song I decided to live them to the best of my ability, especially in the area of exercise. So far I've been very disciplined about going in to the gym five days a week. I started using the weight machines a few weeks ago and felt that was good enough for now. But, if winning this particular race is truly important to me, it will be necessary to put much more effort into my workouts than I am currently giving.

So, I've started adding a bit more weight to the machines and added the elliptical to my cardio workout. My goal for the elliptical is to be up to 15 minutes by the end of next month. I started out at 5 minutes at level 2 and yesterday I put in 8 minutes at level 2. My goal for the treadmill is to walk at 3.4 mph for 45 minutes non-stop. I'm up to 25 minutes at 3.4 mph and the remaining 20 at 3.2mph. Eventually I want to start running on the treadmill, but that will have to wait until more weight comes off so as not to damage my knees.

In 2Timothy, St. Paul writes about having fought the good fight and having finished the race. He, of course, is talking about keeping true to his faith and his work of spreading the Gospel. There is a fight I'm involved in and my own race to be run. I pray for the strength and discipline to run to win this race.


  1. I would say I was the same way as far as applying myself. I didn't really strive for best until my last couple of years of college and when I began teaching. I still don't strive for "best" in my weight loss efforts. . . not even a personal best.
    You have really given me a lot to think about-thank you!!

  2. This was a great post, Jennifer. I love the saying too! You are definitely taking concrete steps to throw off all that hinders. You are doing a fantastic job. I will write these words down and put them in front of me today to reflect on them and see what I come up with regarding my journey. If I throw off all that hinders, I might be so light to start floating! ;-)