The Amazing Race
“It’s probably one of my greatest running memories of all time. It’s something that is completely unexplainable to me besides through a higher power. I feel like the Lord just filled me up and gave me the opportunity to show what amazing things can happen through Him.” –Heather Dorniden
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. 2 We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith.
Heather Dorniden is an athlete whose best known for her extraordinary performance during the Big Ten Championship at Minnesota in 2008 where she was on the final heat in the 600-meter race. At the starting point, it seemed like just an ordinary race for her. Track and field has been her game for the past years and “she was the NCAA indoor champion in the 800 meters as a freshman and went on to become an eight-time All-American, establishing herself as the most decorated Gopher women’s track and field athlete in history”.* So this competition was nothing to her. At the blow of the gun, she started strong and was leading the pack of four runners.
However, on the last 200 meters, her feet got tangled up and she took a bad fall, landing hard on her face and skidded stomach on the ground. By the time she got back up, the leading runners were already 30 meters ahead. And in a race that’s basically a sprint, with that situation, she has no chance of catching up. Despite, she did not throw the towel to surrender. She began sprinting around the track with rapidly increasing speed.
At first, she only vowed to finish the race. But when she realized that her team, friends, family, and the crowd who saw her move was cheering hard enthusiastically for her, she was bolstered up and exploded past the first runner then the second. And finally on the last 50 meters, she hit the gear that she never knew she had and nudged past the leading runner.
Dorniden finished second all in all but her performance that day left a mark beyond any turf in the Field House track. The Big Ten Network classified her as the first-ever recipient of its Most Courageous Performance.
We are now hitting the mid-month of the year and probably like in a run, at the beginning of this year you have started strong and afresh. Yet, some way somehow along the journey, you took a horrible drop.
Nonetheless, regardless of how bad or embarrassing the fall could be all that matters is how we get back up again and continue the race. But not only that, don’t just finish but finish strong because we have such a great crowd of witnesses that cheers us up. Doesn’t matter if you finish first or last, what’s essential is you leave a mark.
Sources: Big Fish, Big Pond by Rick Moore, 2009;; The Inspiring Runner Took a Nasty Fall, But She Didn’t Stay Down for Long, Huffington Post by Dominique Mosbergen, 2014; http://heatherkampf.blogspot.com/; http://www.cehd.umn.edu/people/profiles/dorniden/