Hello and welcome to another edition of HELP For Mums which is platform of us mothers to share our struggles and successes on this journey to achieving a healthy lifestyle balance. I hope that this blesses and encourages someone today.

I’m sure most of us caught an event or two during the recently completed 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio. I didn’t follow it very closely this time around but because I love running so much I did manage to catch a number of the running events – sprints, relays, hurdles, long distance – and I thoroughly enjoyed watching them all!

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RUN REST REPEAT” – those are the words on one of my favorite work-out tops and these 3 words encompass what this whole fitness lifestyle is. It’s like training for a race. You don’t just run the race without training for it, you don’t train non-stop without taking some time to recoup and you don’t train only once for a big race. You Run. You Rest. You Repeat. You train at the optimal level using a program designed specifically for you. All the while having the GOLD in mind.
Running is without a doubt my favorite form of cardio, I like to refer to it as “my First Love in exercise”. Long before I found HIIT and Weights, there was Running! Running is “BAE” because, not only is a great calorie burning exercise (read FAT BE GONE!) but it is also a great endurance building activity. And let’s be honest, endurance is something that we mums need A LOT of in our healthy lifestyle journeys.

Endurance is defined as “the ability or strength to continue or last, especially despite fatigue, stress, or other adverse conditions”. Any runner will tell you that no matter how hard you train or how far you run, it is NEVER easy.
I love what it says is James 1:4 – “And let endurance have its perfect result and do a thorough work, so that you may be perfect and completely developed [in your faith], lacking in nothing” (AMP). Of course this verse is referring to faith but the word “faith” can easily be replaced with “healthy lifestyle”.
Now I am writing this post as much to myself as to any other mum out there, because I know first hand how HARD it can be to stay on track. Be it getting up early to go the gym before work and passing on that last 30 minutes of sleep, or fitting in a quick workout while your babies nap instead of catching your favorite mid-day soap –a sacrifice is always involved.

Endurance is synonymous with patience especially at the very beginning when the end seems so far away and you do not know how long it will take. Galatians 6:9 encourages us by saying “And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up” (ESV).  Another translation says “We can’t allow ourselves to get tired of living the right way”. Remember that everything that we are doing is setting an example for our children. So if we give up because we aren’t getting the results that we want as fast as we want, we are teaching our children to be quitters as well. Yes you have your goals, yes it is taking longer than thought it would, but giving up now will only take you even further away from your goal – so don’t give up!

Endurance requires focus it requires having a vision of what the end result is and keeping your eyes on that result. Proverbs 4:25 says “Look straight ahead, and fix your eyes on what lies before you”. Don’t look to the left or to the right at what or how other people are doing – that’s the surest way to lose your focus. Set your own goals – be it one big goal or a bunch of mini goals (i.e. monthly or weekly) and measure yourself based on those, you’ll experience so much success that it will keep you motivated to keep going.

Endurance without strategy would be futile, you have to learn as you go, so that you don’t keep making the same mistakes and falling in the same places. It’s not always that fastest guy that wins the race afterall (we’ve all heard the story about the turtle and hare) but the guy with the best strategy. We can also draw some lessons from some successful Olympic athletes. Mo Farah is one of my favorite athletes of all time. I watched him win the gold in 5,000m and 10,000m races in both 2012 and 2016 and what I love about him is that he paces himself till the home stretch and then he gives EVERYTHING when everyone else has nothing left to give – that’s what makes him so successful.  Usain Bolt is another favorite of mine, have you noticed that he is NEVER the fastest one off the starting line, but he ALWAYS passes the finish line far ahead of everyone else. The lesson here it to be STEADFAST in YOUR journey, it may not seem to be as FAST as the next person, but that does mean you won’t win YOUR race.

The perfect result and thorough work referred to in James 1:4 is not plural for a reason. Endurance is not something that you get from someone else. Sure you can get motivated externally but the endurance – the patience, the focus and the strategy – has to come from within. You have to run the race for yourself, no one else can do it for you. You will definitely experience fatigue, stress and discouragement along the way, but remember your GOAL is a journey, not a destination so RUN REST REPEAT.