How My Dragon Trained Me (Spiritual Preparation)

I’m not bragging here, or anything, but for the past 4 years it’s been an annual tradition in my family each December to do the Savannah Enmark Bridge Run 5k. The first year I did it with a friend. My daughter, who was 3 at the time, told me that she wanted to do the race with me the next year. I thought she’d lose interest considering that it was a whole year away, and she was three for goodness sake. Not so much! She informed, harassed, cajoled, and bribed me for the ENTIRE next year. September rolled around and I realized she truly was going to do the race with me. We figured out a training regimen so she could do the race without killing herself! She worked hard, and the training wasn’t easy. There were several times she informed me, “Mommy, I’m boring! Do we have to do this?!” (Yes, she said “boring” rather than bored. It made me giggle). I acted as her trainer and helped her through difficult times. She persevered! We even did a practice 5k to ensure she could finish, and she did! The first Saturday in December came around. We were prepped and ready to go. I should probably have mentioned that there is costume contest connected with the race. We were the tortoise and the hare. She made it up and over the bridge without complaint. We may not have been first, but she finished having taken every step to get there! We have done it every year since then, dressing in costume each time and having a blast.

This year we dressed up as the characters from “How To Train Your Dragon”. My son, who is 3, also joined us for the race. He was Hiccup. I fashioned a dragon out of foam around a jogging stroller to make it appear as though he was riding on the dragon. He “rode the dragon” the whole time. My daughter was Astrid and I was just a generic Viking. I haven’t pushed my son in a stroller for a long time, so I actually had to borrow the stroller from a friend. I didn’t do much training for the 5k since I knew my daughter could do the course without too much difficulty. I did complete a 5k two weeks prior with my son riding on my shoulders about half the race and made it through just fine. We certainly aren’t winning any races by our speed, just doing them with determination to finish. I figured if there were going to be any issues, it would be from my daughter since she did less training than I. As I started pushing that stroller up the steep hill, I realized I made a mistake. I hadn’t properly prepared my body to push about 45 lbs of weight up the 5.5% grade on that bridge when it was bound and determined to go down. My arms strained from the weight. I thought my shoulders were going to detach from my body. I began to think that someone had set fire to my calves (I just about went after that someone to do them bodily harm…until I realized I was already doing bodily harm to myself!) About half way up the incline, I was debating whether or not to give up. I stared at the top and felt like the little train, “I think I can, I think I can…..” My daughter was trying to talk to me, but I have no idea what she said. It took all my strength to make it to the top. Panting, sweating, and feeling pain in parts of my body that I never knew existed, I finally made it to the top. Shoo-whee! I began to enjoy the race again on the decline, and when my daughter asked me to run, I felt up to the challenge again. I finished the race, but I was more worn out than I had EVER felt.

Now, let’s compare and contrast for a minute, shall we? My daughter prepared, worked and came through with ease. I, on the other hand, thought I didn’t need to prepare and certainly paid the consequences.

We are told many times in the scriptures that we are to be spiritually prepared. Jesus told of 10 virgins waiting for the bridegroom, five were prepared and five were not. The prepared five met Him joyfully. What does it mean to you to be spiritually prepared? For me, it means a constant, daily “training schedule” with my “trainer” encouraging me to keep going when I just don’t “feel it”. I’ll admit to many times thinking, “I’m tired. Why should I read my scriptures? I have a lot going on in my own life! Why do I need to help someone else?” During those times, my trainer says, “Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these… ye have done it unto me.” He loves me and encourages me to continue flexing my spiritual muscles, not so that He becomes stronger, but because I become stronger and more able to run the race back to Him.

2 Responses
  1. Tiff Says:

    What a great analogy! You're my hero! :)

  2. Lynnae Says:

    Thanks Tiff! I'm glad you enjoyed it!