My heart was pumping, faster than it ever had before. I felt like I was going to collapse. It was the district cross-country meet of my junior year. Before the race, I was dead set on getting that 1st place medal and setting a new record. As the race progressed, I developed a pain unlike any other I had felt before. I kicked it in through the finish line with the worst time of my life. After the pain went away and I caught my breath, that’s when the aggravation set in. I looked around, catching compassionate glances from the people around me, but I couldn’t shake the feeling of defeat. I felt like a failure to my team, but worst of all, a failure to myself.
The majority of the people on this planet have experienced the discouraging aspects of defeat. With this in mind, this is what I believe: when one experiences defeat, they can become stronger than before. In my own life, my shortcomings have helped me grow. I receive insight and confidence to assist me in my future. This idea can be portrayed both in my running career and my relationship with the almighty God.
After I finished that cross-country race, I was overwhelmed with frustration. Now, not too long after the incident, I could even dare to say that I am thankful that I did so horrible in that race. That day strengthened my ability to accept that I won’t always get what I expect in life. After days like that, I would not only approach future races with maturity, acceptance, and confidence, but generally in my entire life to come. I believe that times like those are when one really grows as an individual; times when one is weak.
This idea can be applied to so many areas of life, but the most appropriate example I have is that of my spiritual life. 2 Corinthians 12:10 reads: “For when I am weak, then I am strong”. I am a Christian, and this verse alone can represent how my life works. This is what I hold true: as a human being, I am naturally weak, imperfect, and incapable of having true life on my own. God had a plan for His creation, so that they could be strong. He sent Himself, in human flesh, Jesus, to save everyone. Now, because Jesus died on the cross and rose again, my sins are forgiven, I have eternal life, and I can come to Him anytime and gain strength.
From running a race to running in a life lived for God, I know that I am growing and maturing in so many areas. Through my experience and through the love of God, I am made stronger everyday. Not just that, but I know that everyone can experience strength as a result of defeat. I believe that no matter what situation one is in, it is only one race. There are plenty more races to come.