Josh McFarland writes: Â A few months ago, Lela and I completed a race called the Warrior Dash.Â If you arenâ€™t familiar with the Warrior Dash, here is the base description from their website:
â€œWarrior Dash is a mud-crawling, fire-leaping, extreme run from hell.â€
Pretty awesome, right?!Â The answer is Yes!
We enjoy doing things together and this seemed like a perfect fit; she loves to run and I love to conquer obstacles.Â The downside, she wasnâ€™t pumped about the obstacles and I donâ€™t run unless Iâ€™m being chased.Â While we were both a bit nervous, we knew that the point was to do it together and enjoy the challenge.Â To ease the anxiety of the racers (or increase it for some), the race organizers installed signs all along the course to warn us when we were about to face an obstacle.Â The sign simply read, â€œDanger: Obstacle Ahead.â€Â Semi-random thought: It sure would be nice if we had those in life.Â There were also people along the course encouraging us and letting us know how far we had run and/or how far we had left.
There was a point in the race as we were running up this muddy, torturous hill (2 miles of the 3 mile race were uphill) that I thought to myself, â€œWhat is wrong with you? Why did you think you could do this?Â You big dummy, this hill would be a lot easier to run if you had trained for more than two days.Â This hill is never going to end.Â I think Iâ€™m gonna die.Â If I do die, at least I will be closer to heaven on this mountain.Â Lela, just go ahead and pick up my body at the end.â€Â The fact of the matter is, I didnâ€™t die.Â The funny part is that when we crossed the finish line, I kinda wanted to do it again; not immediately like one crazy guy did, but sometime in the future.Â I realized that as challenging as it was, there was something rewarding about crossing that finish line.
Obstacles in life are inevitable.Â At times, we bring them upon ourselves and yet others are placed in our path.Â The important thing to remember is that obstacles always pass.Â Obstacles are never permanent.Â Some may last longer than others and some have consequences (both good & bad), but the obstacle itself is only temporary.
Obstacles are never easy, but when they come, try to keep a few things in mind:
- Stay Focused.Â Obstacles are only temporary.
- Use the buddy system.Â Obstacles are always easier to face with someone else.
- Donâ€™t quit.Â Everything in life is preparing you for what is coming next; you have the tools to succeed.
- Learn something.Â Try to evaluate things during and after the challenge; this will help you be better prepared for the next one.
- Look around.Â Find others around you to encourage in the face of their obstacles.Â It is amazing how a change of perspective can breath new energy into your battle.
- Smile.Â It never hurts anyone (unless it looks creepy).
At the end of the Warrior Dash, everyone has a medal placed around their neck as a reward/reminder of their accomplishment.Â Each time I walk in my office I see that medal and it reminds me of another obstacle faced and conquered.Â Try doing the same.Â As you pass through an obstacle in life, find some tangible object to keep as a reminder of what you faced and that you survived.
Life is a journey and you arenâ€™t the same person you were 5 years ago, 5 months ago or 5 days ago.Â
Why? Obstacles create change.Â The type of change that occurs is up to you.
You can learn, grow and become stronger or just get old.
â€œAnd the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.â€ ~ 1 Peter 5:10