The following is a guest post from NBBer Isaac Ezell, Senior Regional Representative at HOPE International
My name is Isaac and I love to run. Really, I do. In the afternoon at the end of a long day of work I love to lace up my shoes walk out the front door and go. The feeling of the wind blowing in my hair and the ground retreating behind me as I spread my legs for each stride is electrifying. Now don’t get me wrong, my relationship with running did not start out that way. If you were to go back in time and ask the Isaac of 3 years ago if he loved to run he would looked at you like you were crazy.
The other day I was thinking about this while winding my way through the streets of my neighborhood and came to a stark realization about what had kept me from something that I now enjoy so completely. Fear of failure. Because, to me running wasn’t just about taking a lap around the block. It was about going all out. Spending $200 on the latest running shoes, socks, and tiny running shorts. Sprinting 5 miles of unlevel terrain before the sun came up every day without stopping. Competing in marathons and 50k trail runs. Being a successful runner seemed unreachable to me. This continued to be my attitude until my wife, Carolyn, asked if I would run a half marathon with her. We joined a training group and used a training method intended for inexperienced runners. Instead of being immediately charged to run large 5 mile tracks our trainer suggested that we start out by alternating running with walking for 30 minutes 3 times per week. The trainer started there but pushed me and Carolyn until we could run the full 13.1 miles of our first half marathon. Through this process of starting small and pushing our limits we both came to a place where we really enjoy running. Why tell you the story of how I came to a love running? Because it is also the story of how I overcame my fear of failure. If you are reading this post it is likely God has placed a heavy burden on you to help fix a big problem. Maybe the problem is young women becoming sex slaves or orphans living on the streets or a family starving because the parents have no way to provide for their children. Whatever the problem is it will demand all of your time and energy – but all is too much. 5 miles before the sun came up was more time and energy than I had to give. It was not sustainable. If you give your cause everything you have for long enough you will come to hate your work. But if you begin at a pace you can sustain and then learn to push your limits you will be able to do more for longer. The key to success in running for me was not learning how to train for a half marathon it was in developing a habit and a desire to push myself forward and become a runner. You will not become a runner by burning yourself out. Just like you will not be a successful development professional by taking on too much too quickly or for too long. That road ends in failure.