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Community, Losing Toenails and Hills…LOTS of Hills.

Feb 19, 2013

Hey folks!  

Gosh it’s been a peppy kinda’ week!  Linnae and I completed our long-awaited marathon.  Yep.  Crazy, I know.  We ran 26.2 miles in 4 hours and 16 minutes.  And we (along with Jerry and Priscilla) think we are absolutely crazy for doing it!  

Here is a pic BEFORE the marathon (don’t judge…we were tired already and wind-blown!)….

And then RIGHT after.

It was a pretty amazing lesson for me.  I tend to be an independent, “I don’t need anyone’s help” kinda’ girl.  But Linnae and I had trained together and committed to running the race together.  So when we started and were going a little slower than the pace we had aimed for, I was a bit disgruntled.  I would run about 5-7 feet ahead of Nae and look back as if to say, “Are you coming or what?”  Linnae was undeterred.  She just smiled as if to say, “Hold your horses impatient one!”  Linnae is the younger of the 2 of us, but I think she has the patience of an 80 year old.  I was ready to sprint the first 16 miles.  She wanted to ease in, listen to her body and go.  

So I had a choice.  I could go at my pace and go alone.  Or I could go with Linnae.  Immediately the verse “2 strands are not quickly broken” popped into my head.  I exhaled a frustrated breath, rolled my eyes toward the heavens and slowed to Nae’s pace.  I was gonna test a spiritual principle and show the Lord how He was so wrong.  “Better in community Lord?  Hm.  Let’s just SEE about that!”

We passed the 12 and 16 mile marks with no issues.  We were cruising.  Not really chatting it up…we were present in the moment.  And since we work every day, all day together, we know each other pretty well.  We knew when the other needed to stop for a restroom break, grab a gatorade…it was like samurai magic.  We were in sync.  

And then we hit mile 20.  Mile 21 and 1/2.  And mile 22.  The worst hill of the race…and that is saying something as 85% of the race was uphill.  They even put a super steep hill on mile 25.  (“NOT COOL ROBERT FROST!”, anyone seen the pep talk?!)

Let’s just say at mile 22, my mom took what is undeniably the least attractive picture I will ever have taken of myself. *fingers crossed*  I looked like I felt:  Like I would not make it another step, much less 4 more miles.  But, Linnae in her springy “listen to your body” way, gave me the head tilt and away we went.  We stopped almost every 3/4 a mile to give each other (read Linnae gave ME) a pep talk.

MILE 22 (THANK YOU Alycia, my bestie!, for the photo!)

 The fresh and focused Nae:


We made it.  Safe and sound.  I’m sore.  Linnae lost a toenail.  But we are faring well.  And went to bed just grinning at all we conquered in that day.  

Mission Accomplished.

While I am trying to convince Nae to train for Boston next (she ain’t buyin’ it…YET!), we both walked away feeling like we had accomplished something in our souls.  We had set out to accomplish a tangible goal and God had helped us make it.  There were tons of moments of crazy “Please Jesus! Help us get through this hill!” but moreso, it was a reminder to be in the present.  To take everything as it comes.  But the biggest thing we both walked away was:  Community.  We gotta walk in community!  Our cheerleaders included:  My mom and sis (Mary) and little niece cheered us on (you should have SEEN the 4 year old yelling “WIN! Aunt Netta, WIN!”) and Linnae’s brother and sister-in-law and their precious little ones came (Brian and Lucy are the BEST!)…and then both of our roommates and best friends (AB & SP for the WIN!) came along to make posters and even run with us for bits of it.  We ran away with that lesson:  To do life successfully, you gotta walk in community…because that is the ONLY way you’re getting through this life alive.  

So.  No community?  Go FIND SOME.  Engage here on the blog…check out a Bible Study at your church.  Believe me, community is messy.  It’s hard.  It’s scary.  You WILL get hurt.  You might not feel so comfortable at the pace they set at the beginning.  But at the end, when the steepest hill is on your last mile, and you’re exhausted and hurting…your community is what is going to get you across the finish line!  “Run with endurance the race set before you” friends…and grab a few of your sisters to cheer you in the process.

You are loved more than you can imagine!


Annetta + Linnae