Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Be Not Afraid

I'll be attempting my first 100-mile race on September 11th, 2010. The decision has been made.

Why would anyone want to take part in a 100-mile race? Traveling one hundred miles on foot is like crossing a proverbial desert. People hallucinate in 100-milers, and they suffer greatly in ways we can only imagine. People don't usually cross the desert on foot because they want to. People only cross the desert on foot because an army of gnome zombies is chasing them and death by heat is preferable to death by flesh eating monsters. Or so they think!

I've read enough 100-mile race reports to know that even the fastest runners are humbled routinely by the distance. And one runner I know has even seen the face of God in his darkest hours of a 100 mile race (Scott Dunlap). But why do I want to run 100 miles? What do I have to prove? And why now?

I've been dreaming about doing a 100-mile race since I read Born to Run in October, 2009. The book awakened my love of running. It made me feel like anything was possible for me. For the first time in my life, I felt like I was born to run. I felt a new sense of purpose in life. I felt reborn once again, this time as a Raramuri brother, of the running people. You would understand my plight better if you just read the book, Born to Run, by Christopher McDougall.

I want to run one hundred miles to tell my friends and family that no dreams are too high to reach for and hope for, if you just "believe". I struggled with the decision to run run this race and many times doubted myself and my abilities. But the responses I have gotten from my friends and family, and God, have been overwhelmingly positive. So yeah, the decision is made, and the fees are paid. Ready or not, here I come!

This song felt like a message from God to me, and I have replayed it many times in the past few days. I've included some of the lyrics here:

You shall cross the barren desert
But you shall not die of thirst
You shall wander far in safety
Though you do not know the way.

You shall speak your words in foreign lands
And all will understand
You shall see the face of God and live.

Be not afraid
I go before you always
Come follow Me
And I shall give you rest.

If you pass through raging waters
In the sea, you shall not drown
If you walk amidst the burning flames
You shall not be harmed.

If you stand before the pow'r of hell
And death is at your side
Know that I am with you, through it all.

Be not afraid
I go before you always
Come follow Me
and I shall give you rest...

And here is another message from God, relayed through a good friend I met on the Runner's World website community:
Luke 8:9 -- "Still another seed fell on good soil. It came up and yielded a crop, a hundred times more than was sown."

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