At my most recent appointment, my physio had a student shadowing her for work experience. He was tasked with filling in my check-up notes, so I recounted the details of the pesky knee injury I’ve been rehabilitating. He turned to my physio to ask, ‘Is she a runner?’ and she immediately concurred.
Had I been asked, I would have instinctively disagreed. I’m far from a professional runner; I do it for fun and to keep up my fitness. My best achievement in the sport was probably placing second at school cross-country years ago, but that involved a lot of scrambling up hills rather than speed, and I was part of a minority who ran straight through the water rather than balancing on rocks to cross the stream.
But then I realised, by a physio’s standards it doesn’t matter how slow or fast I go; if I’m running two to three times a week, that makes me a runner. I suppose it’s similar to how people often claim they ‘can’t sing’. Sure, they might not have perfect pitch or sound like Adele, but most of us can get the notes out—that is, when insecurity doesn’t convince us that if we aren’t perfect, we shouldn’t try.
At times, I’ve definitely been stuck in a similar pattern of thinking about faith—that there are other people who are better at serving, praying, discerning or hearing from the Holy Spirit, and that my faith pales in comparison.
This little moment in my week was a quick reminder to not let perfectionist tendencies bleed into every part of life. When it comes to running, that’s as simple as lacing up my runners. As a Christian, it means making time to pray, reading the Bible, building relationships and endeavouring to keep God in the centre of every day. Showing up and getting stuck in is the first step, and it matters.
WORDS Bethany Slaughter | ART Sam Coates