Back in March you might remember hearing the words, “If we do this now, we’ll be fine by the end of April” and then “once we get through the summer everything will get better….” and then “If we work together just a little bit longer we’ll get this under control.” Over and over again, the timeline for when our lives would return to “normal” has been changed. For someone who likes to prepare and plan ahead, the ever changing timeline on the future left me feeling like I was lost without any sense of direction.
I was able to get through the first few months relatively okay. I mean my husband and I were very lucky—we dealt with a furlough, filing for unemployment—but at the end of the day we were able to get by. By the time early summer came around, I was filled with so much melancholy. I couldn’t see my family, I couldn’t go visit friends, heck—I couldn’t control anything!
One night my anxiety was high, and as I was praying for peace and direction, I was reminded that the only thing I can control is myself. So I went back to my two good ole friends: my tennis shoes.
This isn’t the first time I’ve turned to jogging for help. After my dad passed away, I used jogging to control my anxiety and depression. This would be no different. I needed a goal, so I auspiciously told myself to walk/jog/run 100 miles in 31 days. It didn’t matter if I didn’t reach it, but I needed something to work towards.
So on July 1, instead of thinking of what I couldn’t control, I started thinking about when I could get in a few miles that day. Instead of wondering when can I see my friends, I texted them and made plans to FaceTime or call during my rest walks that week. I shaped my day around spending time outside, moving my body. By being intentional with my mind and my time, my anxiety began to settle. I no longer wondered what September or October would look like. Instead I kept my focus on that day.
As much as I want to tell you that I made it to 100 miles, I can’t. I only competed 70 miles. Even if I was 30 miles short, I’m still proud. I’m still thankful. Because I spent 70 miles intentionally working on:
- worrying less and trusting God more
- growing my mind through podcasts and books
- managing my anxiety and depression
- praying for my family, my friends, the world
To me, it all comes back to the word intentional. Running might not be your thing. But what are you intentionally spending your mind and time on?
He says, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” Psalm 46:10
Pictured: Hubby and I after an evening of jogging. I’m cheesing hard because for the last 100 yards he wanted to race… I told him “1, 2, 3, go” and pretended to take off. He wasn’t impressed when he turned around thinking he had won, and I was still 100 yards behind him laughing my butt off.