By Lindsay Ford

There is a song I’ve come to love. The artist’s name is Matthew West and his relatively new hit is called “Mended.” Here is a sample tasting of his lyrics found within the song:

“When you see nothing but damaged goods,
I see something good in the making,
I’m not finished yet,
When you see wounded, I see mended.”

Writing this out reminds me of two things: first, we are all damaged and have experienced heartache and two, the artist is not trying to personally fix what is broken…he is suggesting there is a higher power that can work to help mend the wounded hearts out there. Context matters. You may be wondering what this has to do with your training but it has everything to do with your training.

FullSizeRender 124You’ve got a purpose in life. You’ve got a destiny. Your destiny is great. You may not believe me in this exact moment; however, it is so very true. Perhaps your destiny and purpose aren’t clear yet, but whatever is going on in your life it is only preparing you for more amazing things. You are in training… you are mentally, physically and spiritually training every hour of every day. The tough reality is that it will take a lot of pain, suffering and mending in order to get to your destiny. In essence of my title, you have to experience a path of pain in order to thrive. You’ve got to experience being broken in order to come back stronger.

If you read Rachael’s blog about fueling for racing she mentioned hitting the wall during one of her marathons and found herself physically breaking down to cross the finish line. That horrible but beautiful experience provided her the ability to not only improve her training experience it also allowed her to help others with their journey. I remember losing both of my grandparents within an eight-day time span. We had a joint funeral. I’ve never witnessed anything so heartbreaking and loving at the same time. I truly believe my grandmother died of a broken heart after my grandfather passed away and she happened to experience stroke once he was gone. It was at that time in my life that made me wake-up to my true belief that God was in control and I relied on my faith to get me through the muck. I believe there must be heartbreak in order to ultimately reach our destiny and purpose in life. So what can you start applying to your life and training today?

  1.  See the reward, not the distraction(s) in between. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, television, magazines, money, toxic relationships, addictions, and more are all perfect examples of distractions. For some, these things don’t necessarily exist in a powerfully negative way; however, take a few hits of some of them and now there is a strong dose. These distractions can also be lies. For example, “I’ll never be able to hit a 7-minute mile” or “I put the same training in as (insert person here) and I still can’t hit PRs like they can.” These are distractions that love to take you off course of the ultimate reward. Focus on your vision and your purpose not others.
  1.  Don’t quit – you’ve got to push through the heartache. Remember that your purpose is greater than the pain. It is worth it. If you have been given clarity on what you should be doing with your life, then you can’t quit on it. If you know showing up to train feeds your soul and keeps you out of physical limitations don’t quit on it – keep showing up. I must admit this generation is filled with this idea that the grass is greener on the other side and the “do what makes you happy” attitude. To be honest – it is bullshit. The grass is green where you water it. Paying your bills sucks, realizing your health coverage doesn’t cover anything sucks, being overlooked or undervalued at work can feel defeating, and the list could go on and on. Here is the deal… if you are pursuing your destiny and going after your purpose then expect for it to be hard sometimes. It is a part of the process. Use the tough times to thrive and see the bigger picture.
  1.  Don’t be surprised if you don’t please everyone. In order for you to reach your greatness, you won’t agree with everyone. You will have tough conversations on a regular basis, tough decisions to make and you will most likely make people uncomfortable. Yep – making someone else feel uncomfortable is the nature of the reward. It doesn’t mean you have to be a turd or a straight-up thorn in someone’s side. I know I personally struggle with worrying about what others think of me and as a result I tend to people please versus purpose please. If you ask Jeff he would tell you that I am a sensitive soul with a tendency to get anxious over things that are very minute. My people pleasing continually gets in the way of fulfilling my greater purpose. Thankfully I am aware and I’ve got someone to call me out on it. There will be opposition. There will be people who will discourage you instead of encouraging you. There is nothing less popular than something “new” or bringing clarity to things that makes others a little uneasy. Remember your destiny is greater than popularity.

Whether you are training for something special or training for life, recognize you’ve got great things in store for you. As Matthew West so aptly puts it:

“How many times can one heart break?
It was never supposed to be this way,
Look in the mirror, but you find someone you never thought you’d be….
When you see nothing but damaged goods,
I see something good in the making, I’m not finished yet,
When you see wounded, I see mended.”