In February, the place where I work challenged us to participate in the St. Jude’s Rock ‘N’ Roll Nashville races. We could be in the cheering section, run the 5K, half marathon or the full marathon. I completed the half marathon last year. (Now let me clarify something on this. I only “trained” up to 4 miles and that race just about killed me, BUT I completed it.) I decided I would run but just could not decide if I wanted to go through the training AND going through all it took to complete the half again. The week before the race, I finally registered for the 5K. (I also signed up my family….SURPRISE!!) We had over 500 team members and their family members to sign up to participate. IMG_4707.jpg

I decided to do this as the first step of this journey I am on. It was time that I quit holding back and take a step to DO something to better my health. This 5K was it. This was going to initiate me taking control of my health. Now I want to fill you in on a few things. First of all, I am NOT a runner. Meaning I do not run, did not run to train for this and did not intend to start on this 5K. (I walked the entire thing). Secondly, I am NOT a morning person. I LOVE my Saturdays, especially because I can sleep in. So early morning Saturday races do not get me excited. For this race we had to be up by 4:30 and out the door by 5:00 am. The sun isn’t even up at this ungodly hour, but we were. I tell you this because I want you to know how much of an inner struggle I had to actually go through with this and to show you that if I can do it, so can YOU!

We arrived at 5:30 am and started walking across the John Seigenthaler Pedestrian Bridge and that is when things started to change. I love that bridge and while walking    5k.jpg

over the Cumberland River with the beautiful downtown Nashville view, along with all of these other “runners”, I find it is quite intoxicating. I can see how people are enamored with running these races. There tens of thousands of people there to run either the 5K, half marathon or full marathon. Everyone was there to cheer each other on. The weather was beautiful and I was with my family. Life was good. (even at that early in the morning)

The race started and we walked the entire 3.1 miles. We enjoyed walking around different parts of Nashville and just talking and taking in the beauty of Nashville. I love this city. Being able to experience it without the cars normal hustle and bustle of everyday downtown Nashville sites was awesome. (My hips also remembered how many hills downtown Nashville has!)

58 minutes later we crossed the finish line and we all four received our medal. Now I want to confess something. I caught myself telling others, “I ONLY did the 5K this year”. It was like I had to explain why I didn’t measure up to everyone else’s half marathon successes. That night I realized that I had nothing to be ashamed of or needed to justify to others. I got out and did something. I wasn’t at home sitting on the couch watching television. I was also able to spend a few hours of quality time with my family and I will never regret that.

This journey is all about realizing what true joy and purpose is about. It’s about being intentional with what you do with your life. It’s about creating moments that mean something. Saturday, I was able to do something that was good for my health. I was able to contribute towards helping St.Jude’s hospital. I was able to spend some quality time with my family. None of that was wasted. We made memories. We made a difference.  That is what I want you to do. I want you to take control of your life, one memory making opportunity at a time. It doesn’t have to be a big, grand gesture. It can start with something smaller and you can gradually take bigger steps and try bigger things. So this year it was the 5k for me that started off my journey. What is something you can do to start your journey?

I’m thinking I might actually start training for a half marathon. I hear there is one in Dublin, Ireland or maybe Madrid, Spain. Now that is a half marathon I would LOVE to make a memory at! I would love to hear how some of you are going to be more intentional about your Joy Journey. Comment below. IMG_4711.jpg

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