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Released with Purpose

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This poem is about running. “Run released”–––released from every hindrance–––was our Cairn Cross Country motto last year, and running is too demanding a sport to be without purpose. Hence the title.
It is often quickly assumed that running requires talent but this assumption misses something crucial: you can succeed personally as a runner without talent because there’s a success that goes deeper than 1st place. It’s about growing, not achieving. I jumped into my first season at Cairn with barely 3 months of training under my belt. As the speed training became tough and the races became tougher, I quickly realized my mediocre gift for speed and endurance compared with other athletes. But rather than sit in self-pity or make beating my betters an idol, I began to pursue personal growth.
The growth is physical, since physical exercise is of some value, but it is more importantly also spiritual because character growth is of eternal value (1 Timothy 4:8). I try to put 100% effort into running, which makes it a trial by fire that teaches me about endurance, motivations and sincerity. I also think it’s pretty cool that we got to read this as a team the night before winning the Men’s 2014 CSAC championship.

Released with Purpose

Here we run. We’re Cairn XC

Yesterday, today and, well, whenever. You see,

Running’s not for little girls, or even little boys.

It’s for those who have a will to endure through pain and joy.

It’s not just for the strong and gifted

Who seem to fly with untouchable ease,

Yet who have their reward just handed to them

Unless they try for more.

Running’s not just for winners

Who are glad when they reach 1st place.

When all is won and over

They will lose if they stay in place.

But competition creates good and better.

Lazy humans need confrontation

To work their best and discover later

Much more than just compensation.

Running’s not just for the experienced

Who stand so calm and collected,

Looking for any opponent unprepared.

No. Running is a test.

It’s a test to grow perseverance;

It betrays motivations at the core.

We find what’s worth fighting against

And more importantly what’s worth fighting for.

So maybe you’re one of these:

Gifted, winning, with plenty of experience.

But runners need not be one of these;

At the very least they need purpose.

“What is the end of running?” you ask,

“Why should I go through pain?”

It’s the way God designed us to grow

–––So think about that. Then suck it up, let’s go.

Grow in your endurance physically,

Let it reflect your faith spiritually,

Build the team, stay focused on the why.

And guess what? We’ve already won.

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1 Comment

  1. Tim
    February 2, 2016 at 2:48 am

    This inspired me to take a run today. Thanks!