By Jolly Mokorosi
The other day I was on my daily walk when a passerby, who noticed my ample frame, offered some sage advice based on his illustrious road running career. Instead of walking you need to run, walking will do nothing for you he advised. Well I patiently explained to him that I was nursing some injuries that necessitated walking instead of running. This just did not do it for him. He insisted I was wasting my time. We were not going to agree on this one, so I politely nodded and carried on with my walk. There was really not much he could have said to make me change my mind about walking as often as I can.
I wish I could say I had always remained this resolute about sticking with things that I knew were right but that would not be the truth. It had taken me a year or two to get my mind to the place where I accepted that I would not be a serious road runner any time in the near future. When the doctor first told me I had an injury that needed some attention and time, I gave it a few weeks and waited for change. After a few months I realised I was not getting the results I had hoped for. I hung my trainers and stubbornly refused to consider any alternatives to running. Running was part of my identity and years of rhythmic pavement pounding echoed in my head every time I considered plan B. I loved the way I felt after a good run, the friendliness of strangers bonded by a simple exercise and the freedom of the open road. I was just not ready. Or so I thought.
But truth be told my ‘running’ pride was not the only issue. A deeply rooted belief that if things were not a particular way (read perfect), I was not prepared to move an inch forward, also stood in the way. A few pounds and their cousins, extra inches and noticeably heavy breathing later helped me swallow my pride and conclude that walking might not be such a bad thing. Losing a few pounds was better than losing no pounds! Half way there was better than not making out the starters block.
“The difference between excellence and perfection is that excellence is internally driven; it’s a manifestation of His Excellency. Perfection is driven by the fear of failure and the fear of punishment.” – Kris Vallaton
So many times we rob ourselves of victory when we believe that if things are not a particular way then we will not take a chance, step forward or participate. After a little introspection sometimes reveals that this has little to do with God’s prompting for His best or excellence and more to do with personal preferences, pride or the desire for perfection. To move forward some ‘laying down’ of our plans in the promise of partnering with Him in the laying of new plans is required. The quicker we seek him and assess reality, the sooner we can move forward.
‘For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’- Jeremiah 29:11
Back to my story. After about 2 years post my injury, I set aside the running dream without bitterness in my heart but a few tears in my eyes. My husband encouraged me by buying me a bike for Christmas and I looked up some cycling and walking buddies. I also started to participate in other sports like swimming and tennis during periods when I was not travelling. Most importantly I finally appreciate the benefits of walking.
So if you find that “…..you can’t fly then run, if you can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward.” ― Martin Luther King Jr.
Have you been discouraged from following a path because it was not ‘perfect’? What was the outcome? What did you learn from it? We would love to hear from you.