I am the "Elaine" of Running & Why I’m Ok With That

 
I don’t run.  I don’t jog.  I don’t race.  In fact, the only reason I would run is if my child was in physical danger or if I was being chased.  I hate running.  There, I said it.

Why, you may ask?  Well, short of current back issues and old knee issues, I look like a great big dork when I run.  There is just no better way to say it.  My husband calls me the “Elaine” of Running.  (Have you seen the Seinfield episode when Elaine dances?  She thinks she is a great dancer but the reality is that she is just awful.)  Yeah well, that’s me when I run.  

I do not look like a graceful distance runner or have the finesse of a sprinter.  My legs just go all different directions . . . it really is embarrassing . . . simply put, I am not a good runner and now the whole world knows it.

Sometimes as women and moms in today’s culture, we try to be good at everything.  We want to be the awesome mom, the amazing wife, the savvy business woman, the perfect homemaker.  We want to be involved in every committee and every ministry.  We can’t say “no” to anything.  And we attempt everything we are think we are supposed to do.  But the truth is we can’t do it all.

I am at a point in my life (did those words actually come out of my mouth?) where I don’t have to be good at everything.  I can’t run.  And I’m ok with that.  There are many other things I am not good at and I am learning to be ok with those things too.

When we strive to be good at everything, we may fail at most anything.  

 
When we try to do it all, something is going to give.  For me, it means unnecessary stress, exhaustion and a lack of peace.  The end result is that we have traded what is important for us and our family for the apparent good of the moment.  We simply cannot and should not do it all.  

Are there things we should try to improve upon?  Absolutely.  It’s not like you can just say you’re not good at eating healthy and therefore give up.  It doesn’t work that way.  What I am talking about is feeling the need to do, say yes and be good at everything.  We need to relinquish the necessity to be masters of it all.  

In fact, God didn’t create us to be good at everything.  That is why Paul compares the church to the body (1 Coringthians 12).  Each part has something it is good at, something it is intended to do and when working together provides a wholeness and completeness only God could have designed.  The Bible shares that God has given us different gifts.  We were never intended to be good at everything.  Attempting this will only result in burn out and stress.

So, what is the answer?  Focus on your God-given life roles such as wife and mother.  And beyond that, operate in your strengths.  Don’t attempt to be involved in every opportunity that comes your way.    Be thankful for what you are good at and don’t stress over that which you are not.  Live in freedom.  Freedom to be the person God created you to be.  I will never make it to the Olympics for running (ok, I’ll never even finish a 5K), but I’m ok with that!  But I will find peace and joy in what I choose to do.  


How about you?  Are you trying to be good at everything?  How have you been able to conquer the need to do it all?  


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Comments

  1. Great post! I don’t run either.

    I’m slowly learning to let go and not worry so much about doing everything “right”. It’s quite hard.

    • Hi Emily! It sure is hard. I found myself nearly saying yes to something today that would have helped someone out, but then realized with the already busy week I have . . . I can’t do it all. On-going lesson!

  2. Love it! So true. I love the grace to be unable to do something and for that to be okay. I’m trying to get there!

  3. As a recovering perfectionist, this is something I struggle with sometimes. Thanks for the encouragement!

  4. Awesome post and when it comes to running, I’m Elaine’s twin sister! LOL Hopping from Raising Mighty Arrows. :)