The Next Chapter

Well, its been almost two weeks since the 2011 edition of the Boston Marathon and I am still internally celebrating all that God did on that day. He was figuratively and literally the wind at my back. I had been praying for such favorable conditions in Boston for years and it finally happened. When I was warming up before this years race I couldn’t help but smile knowing that today had special potential.

I have had many spiritual experiences while running but this years Boston was unique. Never had I run a race with my faith leading the way in such a real way. What I mean by that is I didn’t have much confidence going into the race from a physical standpoint. My training had been solid but my last tune up race (the NYC half marathon) was far from encouraging (I ran 64 minutes).

I made a decision before the race that I was tired of letting my workouts and races determine how I was feeling about my running. I was finally at the point were I was going to walk by faith and I believed God had something special for me at Boston so I was going to run according to the promise and not my circumstances. I ran with this belief leading the way and know that it was God who was going to have to strengthen me and get me to the finish line.

As I was running I was thinking about my destiny and how God had created me for moments like this. I felt a connection with God and with those around me that was invigorating with every mile that went by. The race went by faster than any marathon I have run before.

Last year in my final journal entry in Running With Joy I wrote that this wasn’t the end of a journey but rather just a step along the way. Last years Boston Marathon was a huge breakthrough in my heart. I learned how to take joy in running despite my performance. It was a breakthrough of the heart that led to the physical breakthrough at this years Boston Marathon. I strongly believe in the connectivness between the mind, body, and spirit. Sometimes we try so hard at the physical aspect of breakthrough without putting as much energy into the spiritual and mental aspect of our being. I love the verse in the bible that says “watch over your heart with all diligence, for from it flow the springs of life” (Proverbs 4.23). If we are to experience physical breakthrough perhaps the best way to get there is to breakthrough in our hearts first.

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7 Comments

  1. Posted May 2, 2011 at 4:57 pm | Permalink

    Very insightful. It’s almost like I can hear the Sensei saying, “now, grasshopper, you learn the secret to happiness.” :) It is definitely hard to combine those three aspects all at the same time – well done!

  2. Fanboy
    Posted May 2, 2011 at 5:12 pm | Permalink

    “I made a decision before the race that I was tired of letting my workouts and races determine how I was feeling about my running.”

    awesome and brave move. something i’ve been trying to do for a while. you’re the man.

  3. Jen
    Posted May 2, 2011 at 5:45 pm | Permalink

    Thanks so much–I appreciate your thoughts! I only run recreationally but God uses running to deal with my heart!

  4. Posted May 2, 2011 at 6:12 pm | Permalink

    ryan, i praise God for you as i witness your obedience to Him! not to mention the wonderful example for my son who is running!! i am so very thankful that God has brought you and your wife to our lives at this time when he is in this akward young age and pressure to be cool, i am thankful for your shinning light in this wonderful sport!! perhaps next year we’ll come see you run on angel’s wings in boston (we are in s. nh) THANK YOU!

  5. RunningDoc
    Posted May 4, 2011 at 5:18 pm | Permalink

    Ryan, Just finished Running With Joy – what a great testimony! I really enjoyed it and realized that I need to turn over everything to God and find the joy in my running as well as my daily life – thanks for your great testimony.

  6. Running bird
    Posted May 4, 2011 at 10:26 pm | Permalink

    Ryan – We live in Flagstaff, and often see you training. You are such an inspiration to so many! My husband (who is not a believer) has such great respect for you, and is reading your book. I pray that God is using your amazing testimony and witness to touch his heart in a way that only he can. Thank you for being so Real! Sharing your heart, faith, and great work ethic so openly with the community is a true gift <

  7. Rima
    Posted May 7, 2011 at 5:05 pm | Permalink

    Your book has been a great help to me! Thank you for openly sharing how you’ve been learning to run with joy and find your self-worth in your relationship with God! I’m on that journey, too. Although I’m not an elite runner, I have allowed my performance in races and workouts to cause excessive emotional ups and downs.

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