Today is a long run day. Nine days until my first half marathon, so it’s my last long run before then. Ten miles today. I REALLY wish I was a morning person. I need to be asking God to turn me into one, because what lies ahead of me is not able to be accomplished at the status quo. When I said on my entry for Oct. 4th in this month’s RUN JOURNAL that maybe I set the bar too high, this is what I’m talking about. To run 10 miles will take me about 2 1/2 hours, not really adding a time to warmup and cool down and shower afterward. Three hours…not an every day commitment, but an average day ends up being about two hours of working out. Two hours a day for a dad with three young children, a full time job and a full time ministry is not easily attainable. The bar I set too high is not my commitment to a better level of fitness and overall health. The bar I set too high was the time frame in which I hoped to accomplish it. While I am physically prepared to run and complete a half marathon within the time I set out to prepare for it, I am not prepared for the aftermath. What lies ahead after next weekend is a lifetime goal and a desire to continue getting healthy and to stay there. It is intermingled with a desire to be present in the lives of those most important to me, my family. It’s in the intertwining of those two desires that the difficulty lies in reaching my goal.

Unless God miraculously makes me a morning person, I don’t know how to continue on at the status quo. Something needs to change, because I don’t currently have time to be spending two hours running every day…nor do I have the desire really. What I want is the ability and passion to wake up every morning with enough energy to go out and run before my kids even wake up…to have the rest of the day to play with you and accomplish all I need and want to do, without the day’s run looming over my shoulders like an unattainable deadline.

Today specifically, I’m struggling with a severe shortage of patience, compassion and kindness toward you. That looming run on the horizon has me somewhere else mentally, not here with you. I’m finding it difficult to engage with you in the way you so richly deserve and are so eagerly yearning for from me. I don’t like this part of me. I want to be the dad that wants to be here with you 24/7, playing and doing the things you love. I want to be the dad that can bring himself down to your level anytime, anywhere just to be with you. I want that so much, it burns the at the very essence of my soul when I have a day like today…when my selfishness is at the forefront, and all I want to do is what I want to do…to run. It is painful on so many levels to know that God did not bless me with the gift of the ability to spend days at a time with you, without going temporarily insane.

It’s hard to admit that about me, because I don’t like to show weakness. The last thing I want to do is leave you with the impression I don’t love you. Nothing is further from the truth!!! I love you with every fiber of my being, so I will continue to ask God to fill me with the Spirit’s fruits and to lead me and teach me how to be the father you need and crave. I will continue to pray that my weakness in this area of my life is not passed on to you, and that you will forgive me this weakness as you grow.

I’ve heard the saying before that “insanity” is defined as doing the same thing over and over again, expecting different results. Basically, if I want different results, I’ve gotta change my approach. Aristotle said what is one of favorite quotes, used in My Sept. Run Journal “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then is not an act, but a habit.” Something I must repeatedly do…create a habit to achieve excellence…both as a father and as a runner. The real-life application of that truth requires I step up my game…requires I change something if I want different results. That means with God’s help, forcing myself to become a morning person…to get out of bed at 5:00 in the morning to run before you wake up…so that my focus for the day can be where it needs to be…on you.

Love,

Dad

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