“Patience, young grasshopper!” is a phrase that I have become rather accustomed to hearing over my 22 years of life.
I’m not a very patient person. At all.
I am the person that honks at the car in front of me if they don’t immediately press the accelerator after the light turns green. I am the person that tells someone the gift that I got them for Christmas on December 20th because I just can’t wait any longer to give it to them. I am the person that drives in the left lane to pass all of the slow cars. I am the person that DREADS boarding airplanes because the process takes SO LONG and is SO INEFFICIENT.
I am the person that everyone constantly reminds, “Patience, young grasshopper.”
The problem with my high-expectations-purely-results-based-impatient living style is that racing does not jive well with that mentality.
Quite frankly, most things in life that are difficult to achieve do not jive well with that mentality.
In racing, and most other difficult to attain situations in life, there are walls. And in order accomplish any goal you set out to accomplish, you have to break those walls down. And to break them down, it takes time. You have to hit the walls over and over and over and over and over and over and over again before they even start to budge.
To break the walls, it takes patience.
Right now, I’m learning patience. I’m hitting the same wall. Over and over and over and over and over again. On one hand, I’ve won all three of my past 800’s leading wire to wire without any rabbit. For anyone that runs track, you know that’s a really freaking hard way to race. And for anyone that doesn’t run, racing that way is basically like playing tag but having the person who is “it” chase you the entire time.
On the other hand, the times I’ve thrown down are nowhere close to the level that I’ve been training at. It’s incredibly frustrating to look at the clock and know its not reflective of my current fitness level. It feels like the wall is just refusing to fall.
But the Wall’s failure to fall does not equate to my failure to succeed.
It simply means that I must continue to be patient. I must continue trusting, having faith, and swinging for the wall. My favorite author, Bob Goff, says it best.
“Failure is just a part of the process, and it’s not just okay; its better than okay. God doesn’t want failure to shut us down. God didn’t make it a three-strikes-and-you’re-out sort of thing. It’s more about how God helps us dust ourselves off so we can swing for the fences again. And all of this without keeping a meticulous record of our screw-ups.” -Bob Goff
This weekend after my race, my coach reminded me that my faith and my patience are equally as important as my training and my racing. He candidly told me, “You don’t need a coach to write your training. You’re old enough and experienced enough now to do that for yourself. You need a coach to remind you to have faith. You need a coach to encourage you to be patient. Take a deep breath. Exhale. And trust the process.”
Sometimes, I get so sucked up into the here and the now, that I forget that running and life is a process. Trusting the process requires an incredible amount of patience, and an even larger amount of faith.
I put my faith in the gospel of Jesus.
I define myself not by the time on the clock, but rather who I am through Christ. This allows me to swing for the fences and make dents in the wall over and over and over again because at the end of the day, I am loved regardless.
This allows me to be patient and trust the process because I know The One who holds the future. I know The One who loves endlessly. I know The One who knows no failure. I know The One who whispers, “patience, young grasshopper,” when I am at my breaking point.
For now, I will keep lacing up my spikes and toe the line again. It’s time for this young grasshopper to make some more dents in that wall… because I know that it’s bound to fall with patience.