What Does a Runner Look Like?
Posted on 07 April 2018
What does a runner look like?
When I first started running I didn’t look like a runner. But I loved that when I became introduced to other runners, there wasn’t a position you had to try out for. There wasn’t an age limit, height, weight or even ability requirement. I felt a part of it. It just took a passion, a commitment and to put one foot in front of the other. If anyone knows our story, I did not like running when I first started because I couldn’t get past the fact that my nose ran more than I did.
I thank God every day for this issue He gave me and even more for blessing me with a gift I had. He allowed me to create a solution for my nose. Which also served as a towel for my sweat.
My distorted image.
As our business evolved I met all shapes sizes, new and old runners. I was inspired, moved, touched, and blessed story after story. They all brought me joy and many made me cry. Without runningluv I would have never met them.
Never once did I meet someone that I judged because of their appearance. We were all runners.
However, the one person that I did judge was myself. I knew I used my gifts to take a thought and bring it to fruition by creating the runningluv. I knew it was God thing.
I loved meeting our customers at an expo because I got to stand back, wait for them to come to me and introduce my product when I saw an opportunity. It was the only place I felt comfortable sharing. I couldn’t even get the courage to introduce it to a runner that was standing next to me at a race using a tissue. The worst was when a retail store would contact us. I didn’t know what to say, I’m not a salesperson and I definitely don’t look like a runner so how will they believe me.
This lie kept my business from so much. It kept me safe. It kept me from exposing myself.
As the years went on and the business grew, my running decreased. Now, several pounds heavier and no desire to run, I use the excuse that I don’t run anymore, the business runs me.
A runner?! What was a running from? In the beginning, Dwight and I thanked God for runningluv and new He was a part of each step. I never forgot that but somewhere along the way, we became distracted.
Why? He made me. Brought Dwight and me together. Allowed us to be side by side during runs, conquer goals and achieve things. Until … what happen.
We lost focus. My focus was never to get rich. Like so many people think when you own a business, especially when you create something that you must be rich. I can’t tell you the number of times I heard our customers at an expo say, whoever created this must be a millionaire. Sometimes I would tell them it was me, others times I’d just listen. We aren’t millionaires, in fact, we don’t have much more than when we started this business five years ago. I don’t even pay myself. I’ve never wanted this to make us rich.
For years I’ve struggled with how to grow it. And for a long time I’ve been saying the same thing, “I don’t know what I’m doing”. The fear that I let control me to step out and conquer a sales calls, share it with strangers running a race or build a relationship on social media stopped me.
Dwight has a career and when we started runningluv we planned to work together. He was going to use his experience as a distributions manager and gain sales. This didn’t happen. He was always my support, my go to and many times my partner at expos but he didn’t do what I thought we needed to grow. I was doing my job by dyeing the fabric, sewing, assembling, and shipping. Not to mention the website and admin part. This is all still my job. I’m ready to do more and let someone else take over the manufacturing part. As for what my role will be when I’m not making them, I don’t know.
Isn’t a runner at a race, like a Christian at church.
We all look different, have different pasts, experience but we’re all believers worshiping our Father.
Not sure where my thoughts are going or how I’m trying to transform this into what I’m getting at.
A light? Where am I a light? At home, at work, in the community?
I was afraid of being judged as a runner so why wouldn’t I be afraid of being a Christian and being bold to share my faith and testimony.
For a long time, I’ve wanted to open the doors of transparency on the business and let our customers see the ins and outs of us, our work.
I thought maybe when we started our fitness journey over that would be a good time. Glad I didn’t open the door then because we’ve had lots of Monday’s. Then I thought when the office moved out of the house was the time. None of those times worked. My thoughts didn’t come together and how would our weight loss, health/fitness journey, a new office be any different.
Ha! If I only knew He was working on me to make our comeback part of our story. It’s just the beginning.
For the first time, I’m not afraid to put my faith back into my Creator. I’ve let go of a lot and I’m still a work in progress. I will make mistakes and have bad days but I feel the Holy Spirit beginning to show my our next steps for the business. He reconnected our hearts and brought Dwight and me back together again after several years of ongoing strife.
With our marriage and our business. It’s going to be big. Not for our bank account, maybe not even for runningluv, but His kingdom. Our next step is going to be our best step.
I always wondered how a pastor knows what to say, what to preach on. Well, Duh the same way the Holy Spirit will guide my thoughts on my ‘blog’.
I wanted to share more for a long time. I just didn’t think what I had to say would be relevant. Use me, Lord, give me the wisdom, the guidance and the words to do my part.
I must admit, I’m excited about this. I know it won't be easy. I’ll have writer's block, questions but if this is part of the journey, the part I’ve searched for, to get me off the sidelines then sign me up.
I’ve been anxiously waiting for more and when Dwight and I prayed over the business a few months ago I wouldn’t have believed I’d be typing this now. In fact, I always wanted Dwight to be the voice, so I could stand behind the scenes as he posted things, called stores. I even wanted him to blog, do a behind the scenes of runningluv.
I know it’s not going to be easy. I know I’ll be tested but I let fear control me for too long. Finding things to blog about can’t be too hard if I’m listening to what I'm supposed to say. All the other blog ideas ended quickly in my head because if we followed the plan, we’ll have a success story. I saw myself posting my runs, sharing meals, talking about the struggle of losing weight or running again, blah blah. End of story, right?
Sure, it would be a journey to follow but what I wanted to share was still a mystery. My purpose for wanting to write the blog was to know us too but thank you, Jesus, for always being there when I wanted to run from You. When I didn’t make you my go to, my priority. I guess that's why this part of the beginning of the story is going to be good because even when I wasn’t faithful to you, You were faithful to me. You had these days anointed.
Whether or not this is how the journey was supposed to begin, I’m so grateful for the discernment to know when to start. And if I don’t start with this one, how can I honor you? How will I allow your leading spirit to be turned off when for so long I searched for what’s next. For the way to begin here, with a blog, for my purpose.
And this all started today, the same way it did in the fall of 2012 with a run. This time I’m lacing up and I’m running to you, Lord. The riches of Your love will always be enough.
Well, we are going to follow a plan, the one for our lives, our business and this story won’t ever end, it will only get better.
I was so worried about writing a blog because I didn’t have an editor. Someone to assure me it was okay. I guess I can write now because I have an editor. He's the author of my salvation and He won’t lead me to darkness.
I’m going by His grace so please excuse the laws of English I learned but forgot. I’ll know the words and what I want to say so if you can read between the lines and forgive my grammar, my hope is the message will be clear.
** Interjection here**
When I started my work day at runningluv this Wednesday, April 4, 2018 I knew I had a lot of gluvs to sew. My prayer was for God to use my hands for his service. The song Gracefully Broken was playing and I opened my arms wide while singing to words, “Pouring out my life,
later in the song, it says, holding nothing back, I surrender. Shortly after this I went to my machine and started using my hands to sew. A few gluvs in I had a thought and took my hands to the computer and let them type. I typed and sewed and typed and sewed. That’s why this starts and stops, one thought to another.
I stopped typing and searched for the song that says
I had just written this and couldn’t remember the rest of the verse.
So, I let the music play, stopped writing and sat at my desk for a second. A took a breathe and new at that moment I was no longer afraid.
I’m no longer afraid. I felt fear leave my body. The bondage, the lie the burden I carried, the hindrance it kept me in has been set free. I’m no longer captive to failure, allowing the enemy to destroy my soul and keep me back from what I’ve been made to do.
Ask and you shall receive. I remember the lady from the movie “The War Room” when she told the devil to get out of her house. I did that. I got loud, and I cast him out. I kicked him out of my office. And when he tries to come back in I know what it looks like. Fear is a liar.
When I asked the Lord the day before to show me the area in my life where I believed lies rather than the truth and I wrote it out I also wrote that Paul encourages us that we need not fear condemnation because we can come to God as our loving, forgiving Father. Romans 8: 15-16.
Condemnation and fear. Two words. Both are now gone.
As the music is still playing and I’m crying, saying out loud “I’m not afraid”. “I’m not afraid”. Dwight calls. He hears me crying and asked me if I just received the song he sent me. No, I said. I’m working on something. I told him I wasn’t afraid and that I needed him to come to the office to listen to the song with me. Song! Another song?
While he was on his way over songs kept playing that had words I just wrote. Dwight knew what was happening, his heart felt it. His song was meant to be on this playlist.
So here’s my playlist that God created for me that day. Each one in the order I needed to hear it. The day that I was set free from the lie of failure. The one that told me I’m not good enough. The one that told me you're not a runner. The one that was too scared to make a mistake. The one that never posted anything on social media because I didn’t want to say the wrong thing or offend anyone. The one that was afraid to pray out loud because I didn’t know how to pray. The one the kept my business from growing because I believed I didn't know how to run it.
God made it very clear to me that day. I’m not working for the world. I am working for Him. I have a purpose, one only He can fulfill.
There’s more waiting for me and it starts when I go live on Facebook to let you know that I’m not afraid, this is who I am and what’s behind runningluv.
I’m going to work now.
Running to You
The playlist God had for me when I was delivered from my fears.
Fear Is a liar
Tell Your Heart to Beat Again (this is the song Dwight sent)
You’re Gonna Be OK
After All These Years