I went for a freezing cold run, ok, walk this afternoon. It took a lot for me to even get out in the 30 (feels like 22) degree weather but I test very high for having a naturalist pathway. That's a completely different subject for a different day.
I knew that before I could start this massive week I needed to get outside where I could talk to and hear from God. Calorie burn wasn't the motivation, it was a deep need to connect no matter what the obstacle.
I bundled up and took off up the slightly sloped street, made my left turn and started to jog. That lasted for about 5 minutes when my shins of all things started to ache. It was honestly ok with me. No guilt, just walk for a bit I said to myself. The words started pouring out of me. litterally. I started talking to God like he was walking next to me. I thanked him for getting me through yet another Sunday. One that caused me a major sleep deficit on Saturday night. Realizing that I thanked him for the make up sleep last night, one of those nights that you wake up in the same position you fell asleep in. That is one of the rarest and most precious gifts to me. I asked him to prepare my heart to get everything I could out of fasting and the upcoming worship night. Then I asked him to help people to realize that this week is so much more significant than anyone can imagine. I got stuck on this one for a while. The enormity of it washed gently over me. I found a long sunny stretch and walked back and forth a couple of times interceding for those who were planning on obeying their pastor by fasting (myself included) but not really understanding the impact this could have if gone into with purpose.
It's no small feat for someone to not eat, but people do it all the time with misguided ideas of losing weight. Some people may even fast for the right purpose but forget that it's not just about not eating. Me? I have qualified under both of those categories. I'm still not sure even now how far I'm going to take the fast. But I am getting my heart prepared now. I'm not waiting til Wednesday to start praying. I'm building up to it. Just like training for a triathlon, rehearsing for a big worship event. Preparation is necessary.
I want to get vision for getting vision. I want everything I can get out of this experience. I did a triathlon last September, it was the hardest physical thing I had ever done. 12 weeks before, when I should have been focusing all of my attention to training, I was given the "job" opportunity of a lifetime and my focus had to be divided. There were parts of my training that had to get dropped. Knowing that this was an endurance race, what little time I could scrounge together for training was given completely to "the long haul". Hours on a bike followed by another hour running and trying to fit a swim in here and there. That was all I could muster a couple times a week. I had too many other things needing my attention. What got dropped? My core. I just didn't have time to do something that really wasn't directly contributing to my heart and legs being able to handle 3 hours and 35 minutes of "GO"!
Hmmm...I didn't realize this is what I was going to write about when I started...very cool God!
Dropping my core workout affected me so much more than I could have anticipated. 2 weeks before the race I was out for a run and noticed that I felt, for lack of better words, "floppy". I was getting tired at 3.5, 4 miles. Not good when i've got another 2 to go and hypothetically I would be swimming for 40 minutes and biking for 2 hours before that...I had no power coming from the center of me, no stability, nothing to pull from. My legs were doing all of the work to not only push me forward but to keep me balanced. My legs weren't meant to hold me steady, but because my core was weekend they had no choice.
So here comes the rev. My gift, job, talent, voice, music, are the legs. they are the vehicle to take me somewhere. But my spiritual walk, my connection with my Father is what holds me together, what gives me stability. While it would be easy for me to get wrapped up in the task and rehearsals and even caring for people I will only be able to get so far before I need to spend time "exercising" those spiritual muscles. Core is everything, clearly.
About 15 miles into the 26 mile bike my back started aching, then hurting and then I wanted nothing more than to be off of the bike. I can't say there haven't already been moments I've faced in this short amount of time on staff at C3 as the music director that I have felt the same. But I know something about endurance and core now, how they relate, how when I start having the aches, the sleepless nights, the conflicts it's time to take my focus off of endurance and back on core.