3 things running has taught me about discipline


3 things running has taught me about discipline

If you ask me, running 13.1 or 26.2 miles is¬†a little crazy. I’m not a total weirdo…the only reason that I started running 14 years ago was that I was bored with cardio machines. But training for these runs has taught me some great truths about discipline that applies to all of life!

If you’re not a runner, you can still glean insights from this, but without the sweat and pain! ūüôā

Here are my top three:

1.To accomplish¬†hard stuff (like running a half marathon), you have to do some hard stuff.¬†This is for real. There’s a reason that only about 1.9%¬†of the population has run a half-marathon this year. (source) ¬†And only .05% have run a full marathon.¬†(source) ¬†The reason is¬†that¬†it’s hard.¬†

Long runs in sweltering summer months are brutal. Sweat pours down your forehead and into your eyes; it stings.You swallow gnats while running. When there’s no bathroom in sight, and you’ve gotta go, you (ahem) improvise. Sometimes it’s just hard.

2.¬†Running a marathon or half marathon¬†requires sacrifice.¬†Training runs often start long¬†before dawn breaks. It’s not always easy to go to bed early on Friday nights to get up for a 6:00am ten or longer mile run on a Saturday morning.

3. The sacrifices made now will pay large dividends later. Here’s an example: Last Sunday was the race day for the Houston Half-Marathon. I knew that I’d be running 13.1 miles. However, on my regular shorter training day, my running partner couldn’t join me.

Words can’t express how much I didn’t feel like going on my own. In fact, a slow and heavy sense of dread covered me. Here’s what got me out there to do it…I knew that the race on Sunday would be affected if I didn’t do my regular training run. In other words, I wasn’t running for Thursday as much as I was running for Sunday’s results.

THIS is my very favorite thing about running and the most important truth about discipline that running has taught me. I decided to push through the dread and the not-wanting-to and did it anyway!

Plus, there’s nothing quite as satisfying as completing a long run when you just didn’t feel like it. This is true for all disciplines. You don’t have to WANT to do it, or FEEL like doing it. However, if you do it ANYWAY, you’ll reap the benefits!

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Long runs have their benefits! Quiet and beautiful sunrises like this one.





Sports moms


Do you have a list of things you promise you will never do? ¬†Here’s a sampling of mine. I will never:

1. Own a minivan

2. Be a sports mom

3. Wear Crocs

4. Have a blinged out baseball cap or flip-flops

Currently, I have done 3 out of 4 of my “I will never’s”. I discovered the practicality of a minivan and I learned to love it. I still think Crocs are hideous, but they serve a great use for lots of things. Watering the grass, walking in rain, etc. I still haven’t worn a sparkly baseball cap or flip-flops, but I’m sure it’s just a matter of time. Yes, they are all shallow. I’m at peace with that.

The end of another kid’s intense sport season has me reflecting on the “I will never _________” list. Are you the type of person who, like me, rolls your eyes at the mention of the sports mom who whines a little about excessive driving or schedule demands of her child’s sport? As if they couldn’t adjust their schedule….I mean, who is the parent here? One of my friends jokes around with me that she hopes our daughter makes it to the Olympics as a result of our insane routine this fall and spring. I chuckle at that, but she’s got a point. What is the purpose of what seems to be a very child-centered lifestyle for a family?

Well, during all of my drive time this sport season, I’ve had time to reflect on this. Another mom from our team asked me once, “Do you think all of this is worthwhile?” I cannot answer for other sports moms. I can only answer to our experience. Our coach for the past year and a half is an amazing woman. There is no other coach I’ve met that I’d want our kid to spend 4 to 10 hours with each week. Wanna know what her motto is for her team? It’s not “Winning is everything” or “Play your hardest”. The thing I’ve heard her repeat over and over is this: “It’s about so much more than volleyball.” She uses the vehicle of sports to teach our girls how to relate to one another, respect and trust their teammates, how to work really hard, and to be disciplined, physically and spiritually.

Coach encourages our girls through sports- last spring

This is an exceptional woman that doesn’t underestimate the influence that an adult can have in a teen’s life. She teaches perseverance when they are discouraged, and she teaches humility when girls get frustrated with each other. It may be impossible to overstate the impact she’s had on our daughter alone. She understands that as adults, our words to a child or teen are very powerful. Do you remember an adult who believed in you and encouraged you as a child? They may have helped change the way you see yourself and helped you to take healthy risks. On the flip side, is there an adult you can remember who spoke destructive words to you that you may still struggle with?

These are just a few reasons that I’m okay with being a sports mom, at least for now. My hat goes off to Coach Brenda Bundrick and her husband Coach Dave. She is a godly and beautiful woman who coaches with her husband. She models love in her marriage, she demonstrates sacrifice, and works hard to disciple and love a group of ten girls every week. I have seen my daughter scribbling notes to her teammates because coach assigned them the responsibility of writing a word of encouragement, or to pray for her teammates on a given week. All that and our kid is exercising and learning physical disciplines? It doesn’t get better.

Coach Brenda and her husband Coach Dave understand and have taught me that any benign activity or discipline can be used to make a lasting impact. Make that a lifelong or eternal impact. Our lives won’t be the same because of them, in a good way.