Just as Sweet as Winning

Excerpted from Running With Joy:

People often ask me about the message I want to bring to the running community and the world. My message is not that if you dream, live a focused life, and completely devote yourself to becoming the best runner in the world, it will happen. That message is simply not true. Or rather, it can only be true for one person at a time—the best runner in the world.

Let me assure you, I would never want to discourage you from going after your goals with all your heart. I am all about going after whatever God has called you to do with everything in you. But my heart broke when I looked down the starting line at the Olympic games and realized that nearly all of us would be disappointed with our performance, because only three guys could make it on the podium.

But all of us, fast and slow alike, can experience something that is just as sweet as winning. My message is that even if you don’t land on the podium or run a personal best, even if you have a bad workout or are struggling with an injury, you can experience joy to the fullest. I had been a slave—a slave to my running times and race results—but I’ve found freedom in the truth that joy is always available to us. The question is, will we let it in?

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3 Comments

  1. Bryan Davis
    Posted February 18, 2011 at 7:39 pm | Permalink

    I admire Ryan for his honesty. Ryan, you have a God given talent to run and to run fast. With that said, I am a Christian that loves to jog and run but I find myself at times wondering why I’m not faster. But that’s when God reminds me that all my satisfaction, all my joy in this life, and all my peace is not found in a 8 mile jog but it is found in a relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ. But it’s a good feeling to get outside, and to enjoy God’s creation, and be blessed with the health to jog. Ryan, keep up the heavenly tempo . . . . that’s where we find the power to make a difference in your world and my world.

  2. Posted February 22, 2011 at 8:23 am | Permalink

    I’ve always tried to enjoy the training and racing. We push our bodies to the limit every day and it can be quite taxing if you’re not enjoying it. The first half of my first triathlon season was actually kind of miserable because I had so many aspirations for myself. Once I committed to just enjoying the moments is when things started to open up for me mentally and competitively. I’m a firm believer in smiling during racing.

  3. Posted March 14, 2011 at 3:00 pm | Permalink

    I really think that’s what music and art is about. It’s another way to connect to the divine. It’s a real pure way of touching that deeper reality beneath our life.

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