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Saturday, November 2, 2013

The Power of Self-Talk ((November 2, 2013))

At the beginning of October, I had the privilege of taking part in a school wide fundraiser called the CCA Jog-a-thon.  It raises money for the schools Scholarship Fund and is vital to our schools health and success as many students would not be able to attend without some help from Scholarships.  This year, the school raised over $7,500 which is phenomenal and a blessing in itself! 

I never thought the Jog-a-thon would continue to haunt me a month later though.  To back track, the week before the Jog-a-thon, I was challenged by a potential sponsor and good friend to do at least 16 laps (4 miles) in the hour allotted.  My friend is an ultrarunner (two 50-mile races under her belt already) and I…..well, I am NOT.  I walk at a 16 minute mile pace, so once I accepted this challenge, I quickly realized it was not going to be a simple walk in the park.  But accepted it I did, and I actually walked/jogged 19 laps in the time period given.  Yay!  Victory!  So glad that is over and won’t have to do that again for another year!

If only that was the end though…  Since then, I have taken on a new challenge (I love friends who point me forward and push me onward in life…spiritually and otherwise) and have been “training” using a Couch to 5K type program.  I have a great encourager and trainer holding me accountable, and once this is posted, a host of mass accountability.  I am not up to running very far non-stop yet, but I’m sure it’ll come with time.  I’m not at all convinced that I’ll be anything like my ultrarunning friends but that’s ok too.  This is a challenge and I secretly love me a good out-of-my-comfort-zone-but-not-totally-out-of-reach challenge.
I’m not sure if everyone who trains for running is like this but for me this is how it works…  I have a set routine about how long I will walk and run, and then walk, run, etc.  I go by either distance or time.   I have heard several people say they love running long distances because it gives them time and space to clear their minds.  For me though, at least in this training program, there is no clearing of mind or even deep inner thinking.  It’s complete focus on goals.  I am fueled by self talk.  I set off for a jog, feeling strong at first, but over the next bit, slowly lose steam and my brain takes over…

“only two laps….only 2 more minutes….1 and a half…..200 meters to go……30 seconds, you can do it…..push, push….ah, time to walk again…..alright, 8:30 mark on my watch is when I have to begin jogging again…..10 more seconds…and we’re off….”

I am CONSTANTLY talking to myself as I work out.  But having a goal in mind, seeing it just ahead and cheering myself on has helped me make most of my goals so far, day by day, quarter mile by quarter mile. 

But this all got me thinking on self talk.  As I mentioned before, I have a great trainer and encourager in my friend, Leah.  She cheers me on every step of the way, even when sometimes I shush her and accuse her of lying in her encouragement.  And sometimes, I am my own worst enemy, especially when I am not running.  If I am not actively engaged in working out, it is very easy for me to discount myself and my value/ability to be an athlete.  But in the midst of a workout, I am my own biggest cheer leader, pushing on and pushing through to hit my goals and not give up on myself. 

Self Talk is powerful.  Positive self talk can get you through the hardest of days, the longest of runs, and the never-ending battle with lies.  Positive talk, in general, can be greatly beneficial but also easily discounted.  I know for a fact, that I would be quick to remind my friends that they are beautiful inside and out.  That they were made in God’s image, made for a purpose, and loved immeasurably.  I could even give Scripture to back up each of those compliments.  But, if someone said that to me, I’d be just as quick to laugh it off, shush it up, and push it away.  “Yes, you are beautiful, but me….I’m a piece of work, I tell ya.”  I know the Truth and am willing to share it and even sometimes push it on others, but I, myself, don’t buy into it. 


This is where self-talk comes in.  That Truth that I know in my head….has it traveled those 12 inches down to my heart and really resonated there?  Am I simply aware of God’s presence in my life or am I abiding in Him, and He in I?  Am I careful which filter I am straining my thoughts through daily… I using the world-culture filter or God’s Word as a filter?  And am I owning that Truth?  I am learning I need to own Truth and then speak it to myself, daily. 

I am beautiful. (Psalm 139:14)
I am made in His image.  (Genesis 1:27)
He is not done with me yet. (Philippians 1:6)
He is good. (Psalm 136:1 and 100:5)
I may fail but He still loves. (1 John 2:1-2; Romans 8:1)
He is here. (Joshua 1:9; Matthew 28: 20; Hebrews 13:5-6)
He is mine. (Psalm 54:4)
I am His. (John 1:12)

What self-talk is going through your mind these days?  God’s Truth or the world’s lies?  Am I alone in this mental/emotional/spiritual battle?  I’d love to hear any stories you'd have to share or tips to offer.

Until next time,
In Christ,
Joy Lynn

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