In running, they say that your mentality is everything. It turns out that that saying applies to life as well.
I learned this my past year. I didn’t have quite what you would call an easy year. I experienced the worst emotional blow I have ever had, and it took the entire school year and part of the summer to recover from that. The transition to really tough classes was a rough one, especially when dealing with the emotional baggage.This took a tool on me; it especially showed up in my running. I didn’t even improve from last year this season. I did decent as far as grades, but being one percent away from an A in one class and having a low B in another is not my idea of a success. I am kind of a perfectionist, and I was really beating up over not doing as well as I wanted.
I got it through my head this summer that beating myself up over this wasn’t going to help me. I also realized that while running is important, in the end of the day it’s just running. In Psalms 147:10-11 it says His Delight is not in the strength of the horse, nor His pleasure in the speed of the runner; but the Lord takes pleasure in those who fear him, and those who hope in His steadfast love. Though I ran across this verse in the middle of the school year, it took me until the summer to fully realize that. What matters most is who I am as a person, not how fast I run.
That doesn’t mean that I am going easier as far as training. I am working crazy hard to have the best season possible; I don’t do things halfway anyway. Instead, I am not beating myself up over bad races and remembering at the end of the day, it’s jut running. I have a great future ahead of me even if I could never run again (though I might go crazy because of lack of exercise).
As for schoolwork, I will work as hard as I can to get the grades I want. I know that I can survive this school year; I survived last year and the classes weren’t ones that I am naturally inclined to. I am not going to constantly freak out; I know what I can do. I have the peace of knowing that God has a plan for me and that I can do what I need to do to carry out that plan.
We did a backpack prayer in our church today, and I found that rather comforting. Basically the kid’s backpacks were blessed and we prayed for God to guide us through a good school year. Even though it was directed towards elementary kids the high schoolers were still requested to come up, and it was one of the things that made me be glad to be part of such a wonderful church. It’s sort of an analogy for this year. I’ve never been able to do that backpack prayer, and I’ve never came into a school year with the presence of God with me as strong. I know that my mentality will change everything, and I am excited to see what this year brings.