25 years ago…
Sunday morning, just as the sun popped over the horizon, I logged in my 500th mile running since deciding to compete in the Good Life Halfsy October 29th in Lincoln, NE.
500 miles is a long way…
Farther than the width of the state of Nebraska – Similar to traveling from NYC to Cleveland…
I decided to keep a journal of my training as a bit of a whim. I figured that looking back on my swimming and running cross training for the race would be meaningful. More than four months into the journey, I am very glad that I did. Not because I plan to do it exactly the same way the next time, but because it gives me insight into the journey of peace that I embarked upon last June.
For the first time in my life, I trained not for time but as a means to regain my mental and spiritual health.
I’ve logged in more than 500 miles never wearing a watch. I never missed it because my pace was superfluous — I set out not to regain the athletic status of my youth, rather, to regain balance in my life. In less than two weeks, I will cross the starting line packing my faith to compete with grace. I know that what I accomplish on that day pales in comparison to what I have found running the gravel roads — watching the sun rise — and finding a deep sense of rightness in my life.
Somewhere along the way, I learned that my faith could be stronger than my fear. I found joy, peace, and inspiration as I opened my heart and refocused on what is most important in my life. I will cross the finish line with the knowledge that life is a journey.
That I am stronger than I ever imagined and that hope is the muscle that fuels faith.
I remember when I moved to the farm in June of 1997, I laughed to Matt that I traded flip flops for cowboy boots. Over the last four months, I have learned that my perspective on life is healthier if I also add in a pair of running shoes in order to fuel myself with some quiet time in the presence of God.
The blessings are numerous — we only have to look to see them.
Where did you see God today?
Monday afternoon I spent time in a BMG feed yard before heading to Lincoln to the University of Nebraska. That evening and Tuesday morning found me hanging out with graduate students in the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources. Tuesday afternoon I lectured on campus before driving back home in the evening. It was a fun couple of days on the road, and I always find that I learn something every time that I leave my farm.
The topic of my lecture was “Sustainability, Responsibility, and the Art of Balance”.
- Sustainability provides one of the biggest buzz words of 2017.
- Responsibility often finds it’s way into current conversations about food production.
- The Art of Balance applies to both the discussion of agriculture’s needed commitment to people, animals, and planet; as well as my own personal agricultural journey.
I really enjoy college public speaking gigs. Our students are our future and if I can find a way to inspire them and aid them on their journey, then I am playing a positive role which refills my cup. While on campus, I fielded many questions about closing the feed yard and my new life and job with the Beef Marketing Group. My answer generally started with the words “I am finding a new normal…” When you make a life change after twenty years, things look different on a daily basis.
I am happy to report that I am thriving amidst the chaos of change. You’d have to ask my new boss about my performance on the job, but I can say that I am learning and finding my place as a new member of an awesome team. I am spending some quality time in the five feed yards that I consult with relative to the Progressive Beef program. This helps to fulfill the feed yard junkie part of Anne. While I do miss the daily chore interaction with bovines, I am a short month away from moving cattle from a neighboring ranch to our grass pasture and sharing some of those chores with my foreman and my favorite pair of blonde cowgirls 🙂
Likely the best thing that I can report is that I have regained the natural optimism that makes me Anne. This reclamation comes from attaining a better sense of balance in my life.
- Time spent with family.
- Meaningful volunteer hours spent with high school students who need support as they learn accountability and the art of making good choices…
- A healthy commitment to exercise that improves both my mental and physical fitness.
- A work environment that leaves me feeling as though what I do is meaningful, while also allowing me the freedom from worry at the end of the day.
I believe that life is full of purposeful paths. Sometimes it takes some soul searching to figure out which fork in the road to take, but I believe that God has a plan. There is a sense of freedom that comes from packing your FAITH and following that plan. Over the past few months, I have found a sense of peace that eluded me for several years. Two years ago, I wrote a post entitled “I Saw God Today”. I think that I am finally to a place where I can live George Straight’s famous song. I know that it is up to me to hold myself accountable to maintaining that balance on into the future; but I can report that finding it has provided a sweet spot 🙂