Running for More: My Fight For Life.

Okay, we all know life gets tough. It gets busy, it gets hard, we get tired. Even the good things can get hard or monotonous.

Sometimes people ask, how do you find your joy for running? Do you still love running?

Let’s be real, at 100+ miles a week it can be tough and exhausting. Some runners even get burnt out. You get to this level of training and you get TIRED. You often see many college athletes that are plenty good to move on to the professional level, but lose the drive to compete. They’ve lost their joy in the midst of relentless, brutal training.

It’s often easy for me to sit back and feel like, why am I doing this? I’m not making a ton of money. I’m not this household name. What’s it all for?

I’m not going to sit and tell you it’s all rainbows and butterflies. It’s a lot of hard work. Exhausting work. I’m constantly challenging my body and pushing it to its limits.

But there is something greater that keeps me going. I love this sport. It’s taught me so much throughout life. It’s really bizarre when I think about all the life lessons this crazy sport has taught me. I’ve learned how to hussle, I’ve learned how to push when it hurts, I’ve learned when I need to rest, I’ve learned to take care of my body, I’ve learned a lot about humility, hard work, discipline, grace, strength, courage, belief, faith, and so much more.

But there is something greater that keeps me going. It’s this subtle call. This deep down desire to do something I never thought possible. I often think about 3 years ago, I was hardly functioning as a human being let alone running and competing. I was mentally at my lowest and could hardly get out of bed.

Then I found my love for running again. But this time it was different. It was deeper. Instead of feeling like I had to do it, I wanted to. It was something to get me out of bed. It was something to set my eyes upon. But better yet, it was my tool to fight, to fight all the negative emotions, thoughts, and lies I struggled with. It made me start believing “I can and I will”. This passion ignited inside of me. This time not to just be a good runner, but to prove Satan wrong, to prove everyone else who told me I wasn’t good enough wrong.

Before I knew it, it became the fire to inspire other women and men who faced deep depression to fight and find hope. To see that in the midst of heartache God can still use us. He can still do great things through us. That no matter how weak we are, with Him we are made strong. God used this sport to tell me I can do more. My depression doesn’t have to define me. He already has. He’s given me strength to fight my demons, to smash them in the ground. He’s used this sport to ignite the fire in me that life does NOT have to be consumed by fear. I know it may sound strange to some, but this sport has given me hope. I believe my hope is in Jesus, but I also believe he uses avenues and passions to help shape us, to help grow our faith.

Haven’t you ever needed something tangible? Something to see and feel. I think we often think these things are worldly, but what if God is actually using them to give us a better understanding of himself His love for us. His belief in us. My faith is not in this sport, but God has given me this sport to help me understand him.

This sport will strip you of pride. Trust me when I say you will have a run and you will keel over. We aren’t limitless, but God is and he is able to use even the weakest of us to glorify Him. He is able to use us when we feel useless. He’s given us strength when we have none. It’s at these moments when I feel exhausted and striped of everything that I remember, I must fight. I must fight for those who can’t, I must fight for what God has made good, I must fight for humanity, I must fight for love. I must fight with everything I’ve got and with the God who’s given me everything. So I hold my head up high and I RUN.

I RUN.

Because I can, because it fuels a fire in me that can’t be put out. Because I will prove Satan wrong. And God’s love will be made known. I will show others what God can do in and through them. This is no mere dream, this is the fight for love. The fight for what’s right.

So what keeps me going?

There is more. There is always more than just winning. Money, fame, recognition will NEVER be enough. But fighting for what God declares good. Fighting for human health. Fighting for joy. Fighting for love. That’s worth it. If running is how I’m called to do it, I won’t stop, I can’t stop.

Remember why friends. Remember why you do what you do. Do what fuels you.

Jo ButlerComment