The Training Process

She was prepared. Had been training for months. The day was here and the race was starting. The team was strong. Focused. The cold air whispered victory. Only one leg of the relay belonged to her. And as her starting time drew nigh, she realized….

You see, my dear friend, Vanessa Hubbard, recently ran in the Mercedes Marathon Relay. Weekday mornings, 5am, she prepared. Her trainer did everything a trainer should do. The team had a plan. They practiced on similar roads. They mimicked the conditions and set their pace. Each week during practice runs, they got better, faster, and stronger. One of their trails provided optional paths. The path to the left was more level while the one on the right took them straight uphill. Although the trainer suggested the right path, most days, my friend chose the flatter, more level one…wouldn’t you?

Days before the race, a team member was injured. Strategy had to be modified because not competing was not an option for any of them. As the team made adjustments, my friend’s placement shifted, yielding her the uphill part of the course.

Sunday arrived and they were off! As Vanessa waited for her leg of the race to begin, she knew it would be an uphill journey, but she stayed focused. Could she stay under her time? Would she run fast enough to keep her team from being eliminated? If she didn’t, her team would not finish successfully and all of their hard work would end in defeat. They were depending on her.

And being the person that she is…..she did not disappoint!

Not only did my friend finish her leg of the race, she had time to spare. The uphill struggle was real but she knew this was more than just a race, but a life lesson from God.

As I listened to her story, I wondered…How often do we ignore the suggestions of our Trainer? When He tries to take us from level ground into unfamiliar, uphill territory, how often do we say, “That’s ok, I’m good”? Is comfort keeping us from taking the uphill journey that may result in greater? Are we so focused on ourselves that we forget the training, the preparation, the tests, are not only about us, but others may benefit too? Is this training period (a.k.a. the process) preparing us for what we think is to come or for what He knows is ahead?

I believe with every fiber of my being, this is our year! Greater is coming, change is coming, but our success depends on our willingness to dig in during the training season. Comfort is not the key if we really want more. In the end, we want an uphill journey that will take our breath away. Not one that will leave us trying to catch our breath. The difference will be determined during the training process.

I tell this story about my friend because I am so proud of her! Getting up at 4:30am, running at 5am, regardless of the outside conditions, requires commitment. Yes, she took the left most mornings, but not only did her team successfully finish, the wind-blown whispers of her Father will remain with her forever. He never reminded her of the lefts, but yet encouraged her to keep pressing her way uphill…for He was with her.

I admire your commitment, dedication, and determination. Love you dearly friend and thank you for allowing me share your experience through Sharing My Heart!

Now I ask, “Are you committed to the uphill journey or will you keep turning left during the training process?”


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