Re-visiting lessons learned

I’ll be the first to admit the title of this last blog before I compete in the Boston marathon could be taken the wrong way. I was reading this morning in 1 Corinthians and I stumbled across three words that I had read over before but today, for some reason, caught my attention in particular: “I die daily.” As I mulled over Paul’s words I realized that lessons learned aren’t always instantly absorbed and more often than not have to be re-visited often, even daily.

Writing a book has been an interesting process for me to undergo. Last year as I was writing each day’s entry, I found the process deeply therapeutic and felt that I was learning things about me, God, and how I wanted to experience running and life on an almost daily basis. The process I was going through felt very much life altering and that I would never fall back into my old ways. However, as I went through the editing process and read the book through a couple more times I was re-learning some the same lessons that I was previously sure would last a lifetime.

I like to think that I master life’s lessons and can move on to the next only to later become disappointed with myself that I fall back into the same bad way of living. This was my experience three weeks ago when I had a very poor race at the NYC half. I was bummed after the race that things hadn’t gone as I had hoped but I was more disappointed with my bad attitude. Why was I pouting? I had just come out with a book called, “Running with Joy,” yet here I was letting my circumstances dictate my joy.

As I have processed through the events of the NYC half marathon I realize that learning these lessons, as Paul wrote, is a daily process. It is easy to lose perspective and to let the tough events of life dictate my joy, when I am commanded in the Bible to “Rejoice in the Lord always.” It wasn’t that I didn’t learn life altering lessons leading up to last years Boston marathon, my problems come back when I don’t remind myself of these lessons and what I am going after on a regular basis, keeping them on the forefront of my mind and meditation on them.

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6 Comments

  1. Barry Edwards
    Posted April 12, 2011 at 2:08 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for sharing that message Ryan. I’m a christian and age group triathlete and have been struggling with injuries often, the latest being planter fasciitis. I have been very frustrated that I can’t run for 5 months. After complaining a lot, I saw Soul Surfer movie and realized that I need to stop complaining about my injuries or bad performances and focus on what I can do. God has given me the ability to swim and bike so I need to spend time on that and have a good attitude. I can’t be an good example to all my triathete friends if I have a bad attitude. I’m learning to enjoy the journey. Thanks again, Barry Edwards, New Orleans, LA

  2. Robert
    Posted April 12, 2011 at 8:03 pm | Permalink

    Ryan – thanks for the encouraging post. It’s a great reminder to always rejoice in the Lord, regardless of our circumstances. While people can derive happiness because of their circumstances, it’s refreshing to know that joy is something much deeper that can happen in spite of your circumstances (not because of circumstances). I’ll be watching from the sidelines next Monday in Boston. Best of luck to you in the race as you run with joy. Robert

  3. Amy
    Posted April 12, 2011 at 8:26 pm | Permalink

    Your honesty is refreshing and appreciated…. it’s important for us to remember that as Christians things are not always easy and certainly not perfect. I have found that some of the hardest lessons have to be learned over and over again (to die daily). It is humbling.

  4. Posted April 18, 2011 at 11:19 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for your frank sharing. As a christian as well as a runner, I am constantly asking God how my running fits into His plan. As I find out over time, through running, God uses it to teach me a thing or two about life.
    Want to congratulate you on your PR in Boston! I am sure it is the culmination of right training as well as the right attitude. And the result is obviously refreshing! Keep it up!

  5. Posted April 19, 2011 at 11:27 am | Permalink

    Ryan, first off, congratulations on your amazing Boston finish! Ok, I’ll admit, I actually don’t know professional runners, but when a friend directed me to see the videos on universalsports.com, I had to check it out. While listening to your video, I was thinking “I wonder if he’s a Christian.” Googled your book, and here I am. Way to shine for Jesus. :) Oh and your post here is so very encouraging–I find myself thinking how often I have to keep relearning things. I’m thankful for His grace and patience with me. I’m definitely going to check out your book. Congratulations again, and thanks for being an awesome example of a follower of Jesus!

  6. Posted May 5, 2011 at 7:35 pm | Permalink

    Very nice info and right to the point. I don’t know if this is really the best place to ask but do you guys have any ideea where to hire some professional writers? Thanks in advance :)

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