Tough Mudder

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David debuts his high school running career at the Forest Park Cross Country Festival.

This past Saturday my son was among thousands of runners competing at the Forest Park Cross Country Festival in St. Louis, MO.   Due to the torrential rains the previous 24 hours I renamed the 5k race The Tough Mudder.  The competitors achieved rugged status as they ran on the course turned mud and muck.  Many ended the race covered from head to toe in said muck.  Others crossed the finish line shoeless ( shoes to be found somewhere back in mile #3 mudpit.)  Witnessing this Tough Mudder brought back running memories of my younger days which included achievements in the rough and rugged arena.  I ran my share of muddy miles, heartbreak hills, snow-covered courses, wind-whipped workouts, and trails of tears.  To build leg strength and mental toughness, my dad (and coach) had me train in waist deep snow drifts.  (I felt like I was flying on the indoor track in comparison!)  I was a tough and tumble teenager!  So as an adult, I hate feeling weak!  I highly value feeling strong and in control.  This summer I’ve had to relinquish this tough mudder mentality and face some harsh reality.  Many of you know that I had a heart attack in mid-June.  Just hand over the wimpy prize, thank you very much – NOT!  After I posted my heart attack reality on facebook I hated the thought of people thinking I was weak, frail, and well, not measuring up.  I’ve dealt with the yucky emotions of feeling like I don’t measure up and needing to achieve to be somebody my whole life.  I dealt with it as a competitive runner who found herself sidelined with a career ending injury in college.  I dealt with it as I sunk into deep depression after the birth of my fourth son.  During each of these low times of my life, God met me in my place of despair and inadequacy and spoke into my heart through His Word, reaffirming His love and purpose for me.  Scriptures I had memorized in the past became the lifelines God used to pull me out of the slippery, muddy pit of depression.  In high school, facing injury and disappointment, I memorized Isaiah 40:28-31.  It reads: “Do you not know?  Have you not heard?  The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth.  He will not grow tired and weary and his understanding no one can fathom.  He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.  Even youths grow tired and weary and young men (and women) stumble and fall;  but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength.  They will soar on wings like eagles;  they will run and not grow weary; they will walk and not be faint.”  In each of my difficult times, God brought these truths to my mind and heart.  He wanted me to sink my trust into Him.  He gave me fresh strength and hope every time.  Another scripture God has used to sustain me is 2 Corinthians 12:9, 10 in which Paul says, “But he (Jesus) said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses so that Christ’s power may rest on me.  That is why for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses…in difficulties.  For when I am weak, then I am strong.”  Fast forward to today.  God is once again telling me that I do not have to be tough and tumble!  That, in Christ, I am enough!  I am secure, significant, and strong.  Even after a heart attack.  Even on days when all I accomplish is grocery shopping and watching my son run like a gazelle through Forest Park!

 

 

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8 thoughts on “Tough Mudder

  1. Darlene you are wonderfully and fearlessly made, no matter what u think of urself…..
    I love u girl…. Keep on doing God’s work in our behalf 🙏🏾

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    1. oh, love you too, Bernita! Thanks for cheering me on as I take these steps of faith for the Lord. I just saw your message. I am just figuring out how to find the comments people leave. This techy stuff is new to me but amazing.

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  2. Darlene, I love your website; a way for me to stay in touch with you on a daily basis! You have helped me SO much through our trials which have caused me to grow in Jesus. God bless you and your family each day!

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    1. Oh, I’m so glad, Pam! You have been an encouragement to me, too. I’ve realized through our meeting at the Y that there are no chance encounters and that God uses us as we are open to the impact moments He provides.

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  3. Yep, that was one tough mudder for the boys for sure! Darlene, I love your website and blog. And I love that our boys are friends. Your words are inspiring, and they are coming at just the right time. Thanks for sharing! I look forward to reading more from you 🙂

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    1. Thanks for reading and for your encouragement. That’s my prayer, that what I share will be timely for people – whenever they read a particular blog or another section of the site. I’m still figuring out the website and am not learning as quickly as I want to. I’m going to do some tutorials and get some further help. For instance, trying to figure out a better way to post training tips so
      that they are pdf’s for people to download. Thanks again for encouraging me/cheering me on.

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  4. Darlene
    I have been reading your blog tonight and really enjoying it. You are a very good writer. Tuesday and Wednesday were both 13 hour shifts for me at work and I have been really tired today so Cody and I climbed in bed early and found your blog. Cody liked The Tough Mud der. He just went off to bed. Can’t wait for the next one.
    Deb

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    1. Great! I’m glad you both liked it. I’ve written another post called Feeling Validated. And I’m about to post another one tomorrow called Risky Business! Thanks for your comment. I hope my writing can encourage you and others whenever they read it. God’s timing is perfect on when he wants people to read the blog posts.

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