One Sunday a couple months ago, I was standing outside of church talking with a few run club friends. The morning before I had embarked on a long run with two dear running friends. Two really good runners. And, when I say really good, I mean they were pacing 7:30/miles for 8 miles in the middle of a humidity-filled North Carolina summer.
I was NOT pacing 7:30/miles. Not even close. And as I tried to keep up, I kept falling behind. I was embarrassed. I felt defeated. And, to be honest, I was a bit jealous. I was thinking, “What’s wrong with me? Why can’t I keep up?” It brought me down a bit and hurt my pride a little. Putting all of that aside, and on a positive note, their company was great and it felt good to be running.
Anyways, as we were standing outside of the church and I was chatting with one of the girls I had run with the day prior, I was beating myself up pretty bad. Saying things like, “I did terrible. You girls killed it” and “I’ve got a lot of work to do to get on your level.”
Her response: “You need to give yourself a little grace!”
My response: an awkward laugh and a “You’re right.”
But, as I walked away from that conversation, I kept repeating what she said in my head. What the heck does that even mean? And I’ve gone back to it time and time again over the past couple of months.
I learned what it meant this week.
As you may or may not know, I pulled my hamstring back in September and haven’t been able to run much since. It’s been a bit devastating to me. When your release is taken away from you and you have to figure out how to cope without it, it’s not an easy ride.
The past couple of weeks have been filled with peaks and valleys, anxiety and low moments. I unintentionally distanced myself from my friends and family and worked A LOT. I was forcing myself to see the joy in life, but at the same time unable to be at peace. This week, the improvisation of workouts, the stress, the anxiety, and the frustration of not being able to run came to a head and I knew if I didn’t slow down, I was going to have a break down.
That’s when my dear friend’s words “Give yourself a little grace” popped into my head.
Maybe that’s what she meant. Maybe she actually meant stop putting so much pressure on myself. Maybe she meant be gentle and kind to myself.
And there are a few ways to look at grace:
- Unmerited favor of God.
- To honor by one’s presence.
So, maybe, giving yourself grace means all of these things. Be elegant and kind with your words to others and to yourself. Bask in the warmth of the undeserved love and goodness of God. And be happy with your own presence – who you are, all of it.
Maybe my body is trying to tell me something. Maybe I haven’t healed yet because I haven’t given it the time and space to heal. I haven’t given it the “grace” it needs to get better. And, surely, the negativity isn’t helping either.
So I want to thank my friend for, in a short little sentence, changing my perspective on my situation. Thank you for helping me to slow down. To be patient and to be kind.
And this week I challenge you. Give yourself a little grace. Slow down. Relax. Laugh. Let yourself enjoy each and every moment.
I’m grateful for these moments: