Simplify Sunday

Debby McCuiston, the “Queen of Clutter-Free”, does a segment for us each Sunday on simplifying our lives, getting rid of “clutter”, and focusing on what’s important. We look forward to her words of wisdom each week & hope you enjoy it too! Take it away Debby….

Today I want to give you an update on “climbing out of the pit” and the ever changing world of getting my health in order.
Saturday March 10, 2012 I crawled out of bed at 6:00am wondering why in the world anyone in their right mind would be doing this. To tell you the truth normally I would have been able to talk myself out of going on this latest adventure but I made a promise to myself to do this and this time I was determined to keep that promise.
Since I am a firm believer in the motto “misery loves company” I invited anyone and everyone to join me in the first great adventure of this new year: run\walk a 5k. I know I know how crazy is that! I thought the more that would join me maybe that would help me run like the wind. Well, I had several friends and family commit to going with me. Needless to say in reality only my sweet husband and Keylee (a 9 year old family friend) came to walk with me. But I really don’t blame anyone for not coming because it was 35 degrees when we arrived at the track. To make matters worse the track ran beside the river so that gave us a very cold breeze blowing when we started the run. At least I knew my friends where still all snug in their warm beds while I stood waiting to start walking freezing my toes off.
My number was 329, that means there were at least 328 other crazy people out of bed and ready to start the day with a brisk run. We made our way to the back of the line, back with the moms with strollers, older people and the other walkers. As I found my place I realized that I was surrounded by about 320 tall skinny, healthy, lean, young men & women that couldn’t wait to run. As I sized up the competition and I was close to the oldest and hands down I won the coveted award for heaviest. About this time I could have kicked myself for ever thinking this was a good idea ( this about the time that the little voice in my head kicked in and gave me the same list about why i shouldn’t be there and what a waste of time it was)

I was determined to make it to the finish line so I had to take that first step to make it happen. So as I took that first step I knew I would finish and took great pride in that fact.
I will confess, in my mind I could see myself as I passed the first 50 people then the next 50 until I reached the top of the pack. As I rounded the last corner I broke into a sprint that has only been seen during the Olympics. The crowd cheered as I crossed the finish line and I was showered with flowers and champagne. Then a blast of cold wind woke me up and shocked me back to reality.
Truth was I was still at the back with only 10 people behind me and they were gaining ground. For about the first mile I was holding my own then one by one they started to pass me up. Since the route we were on was 1 ½ miles up and then the same 1 ½ mile route back, about the 1 ½ mark the runners that were at the front of the race were coming back and passed me with all pistons burning. The neatest thing happened as several passed by they shouted words of encouragement to me, the old lady in last place. It was at that point I knew without a doubt I would finish!! God knew just what I needed and when I needed it. Those precious words were like kisses from my heavenly Father.
The gap between me and the last of the other walkers was widening with every step I took. The fact that I would really be the last one to pass over the finish line settled in my head as the helpers along the track started walking behind me, signally the end of the race. At this point I just wanted to die and disappear into the ground. I was so embarrassed and would have stated to cry but it’s hard to cry, breathe and walk at the same time. The whole time right beside was my sweet husband telling me how good I was doing and that he was so proud of me. Really? I didn’t feel very proud, I felt like a failure, I couldn’t believe this was happening to me.
Then the coolest thing happened as I start toward the finish line, those that went before me across that line (for some about 45 minutes ago) started cheering for me. They didn’t seem to care that it took me almost an hour to cross that line, they were celebrating the fact that I finished. Then it all made sense, it’s not how fast I travel through the adventures that God gives me, it’s just important that I finish with my head held high, knowing I did my best along the way.
I know this won’t be the last 5k I take part in, I hope it will be last one that I finish in last place. I know there is training to be done over the next few months. When I got home a friend texted me to see if I wanted to “run” with her in another 5k in about 2 months, of course I do. I may not be ready to run but I will finish.
Today I hung my race number on the bathroom mirror so that every day I look in there I will remember that on a very cold Saturday morning I started to make this dream a reality with one step at a time and I finished the first race that will get me to the place God has prepared for me.
If you are like me ready and willing to start on the adventure of a lifetime, it begins with one step. There will be tears shed; there will be muscles that hurt for days, there will be days you don’t want to get out of bed but there is a prize set before us, the feeling that comes from knowing you did your best every step of the way. There are those that have gone before us and they are waiting to cheer us on, to encourage us to continue and then to show us how to encourage those that will come after us.
It won’t happen just by wishing on a star or reading the right books. It will happen when you decide to take that first step, then the next, then the next until you hear the crowd cheering you on, then you will know you finished well. I can’t wait to hear from my heavenly Father “Well Done, my child, well done”!
After we got home my husband thanked me for getting him to go with me because he really didn’t want to go. How do you ever thank those amazing people that God blesses us with that are there for us no matter what it takes? I can never ever thank him enough for the kindness he continues to show me, for the words of encouragement and the blessing he has been in my life. But I can show him that all the time and effort he has invested in my life has made a difference and that hug at the end of the day is all I need some times but then when he tells me he is proud of me—wow! I am one blessed lady! Thank you Jesus for Tony!!!! I couldn’t be more proud to take this adventure with you!!!

Get those shoes on and make this the week to take that first step!
Love you to Jesus!


  1. sara says

    I am proud of you for a lot of reasons that I wont go into because you said everything so eloquently in your post.. but really, you are an inspiration… I have not run one mile at one time since I was made to do it in Jr high PE class.. and it took me a LONG time. And my husband runs marathons for fun! I am in healthy, decent shape I work out every other day or so… but I would not take on what you did. You Go Girl!! :) You have made me think again about the possiblilty that I could MAYBE at least TRY..:)

  2. Dearela says

    I must admit this post made me cry! In life we focus too much on the place we finish instead of just finishing what we started! When we accomplish something there will always be beautiful people waiting to cheer us on! I am so proud of you and you have so much to be proud of! It’s wonderful to have your own personal cheerleader in Tony….I am blessed enough to have my very own in my husband Patrick! I know no matter what, he has my back and he will be there every step to hold my hand and/or cheer me on! God has blessed me with the best friend in the world and I see you have your very own! God bless you for sharing and for having the strength to finish!

  3. Rena says

    sounds amazing.wish I could have been there. I am proud of you. Just think now anything is possible. YOU DID IT. Thank you so much for shareing. I really enjoyed it. Very motivating. you’re right it starts by taking that one step. I love to run but well ok let’s face it my run is more like a trot but hey I still love it.

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