A Hard Endeavor, indeed!


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It just hurt way too much!  Out of the 1600 meters I needed to run today, I was able to run only 200 when the pain started to surface.  The only thing I was able to do is to walk while the other athletes started to pass by leaving me way behind. Then it was not only my clumsiness to run but my inadequacy as well.  An inner feeling began to resurface, something I have not felt in a while.

Even when I was skinner, and I used to be in the swimming team in High school, running was always so painful, because of my history of fallen arches and scoliosis.  Through out all elementary school I used to wear special orthopedic shoes. Do you know how that made me feel? AWFUL! I was not only the kid without coordination to play any kind of team sports; I had to use this horrible black half boots with a huge sole on it. My classmates constantly bullied me, and I was always the last one to be chosen to be part of a team.

This continue all of the way to junior high when I was not only not doing good in any kind of sports, I flunk 7th grade. Instead of changing schools, my parents decided to leave in the same school. How humiliated I felt! Suddenly my classmates where advancing to the next year while I was staying behind, and everybody knew I was the boy who flunk the year. By now I was already struggling with myself, depression became my faithful companion, and my search for some kind of spiritual love, my constant pursuit. I did not feel loved by anybody, and I felt rejected by many. The failures of my life started to accumulate, and little by little the real “Miguel” started to hide, that is how the impostor was born. Even though a lot of healing has happened in my life there are still closets to open and take care of the mess in it.

Today while trying to do the work out of the day (WOD) at Iron Tribe Fitness, one of these closet doors were opened by force. Suddenly the feelings of being the last one, the clumsy one, the unskilled, and inept were unbearable. The pain on my feet and legs became secondary to the pain of my soul.  The voices of the many started to fill my mind: “I told you, you are not good at this,” “See!, you have always failed,” Come on man! The others athletes are going to start laughing at you”, “Accept it Miguel you have never been good to any kind of sport.” I felt so awkward and disappointed with me that I grabbed my keys, and for the first time since I started at Iron Tribe left the gym with a sense of total failure. I even thought to write an email to the Downtown’s manager to ask her to cancel my contract, because I was not able to do this anymore.  I felt defeated, and ready to disappoint my friends and family once again. I could not bear it.

I came back to my office, put some music, and I let the tears started to clean my so wounded heart and soul. I grabbed the book The Ragamuffin Gospel by Brennan Manning and when I opened this is the first thing that I saw:

“God not only loves me as I am, but also knows me as I am. Because of this I don’t need to apply spiritual cosmetics to make myself presentable to Him. I can accept ownership of my poverty and powerlessness and neediness.”

I started sobbing…

uncontrollably…

intensely…

in pain…

in distress…

in suffering and sorrow…

the tears, and the love started to heal…

then, there was hope…

faith…

acceptance…

expectation…

solitude…

…and then I realized that there has been so much healing happening in Alabama. I have spent many mornings, afternoons or even evenings at my office letting the wounds get healed. Since I started at Iron Tribe these moments have increased, and suddenly one part of me that I thought was dead, it started to show signs of being alive: my faith.  That is correct, not only my faith on myself, but also my faith to the One whom I followed most of my life, and the one who hold my hand in the most isolated and harsh moments in the last 25 years.

Final Note:

This is the first time since I started, 25 days ago (8 weeks), that I left Tribe even before I finished the WOD (Work Out of the Day) feeling so inadequate to continue this journey. This is a war against my “old” self, and that is why it is a bigger struggle than just the physical pain. To be honest, real and vulnerable with my friends, today I thought about quitting. The battle is getting stronger!!!

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3 thoughts on “A Hard Endeavor, indeed!

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  1. Jehosophat: the battle is not your, but God’s. Your job is to show up, stand in the midst of the battle, and sing. The gift of all this struggle is that you are remembering that you are not walking alone on that track, Miguel. God is walking with you, whispering, “You are my beloved child, with whom I am well pleased.” And you are listening!

  2. Miguel, you are a wonderfully strong and resilient human being not because of your successes, which are many, but because of the many times you have fallen and reflected and grown and been made aware of deeper understanding and acceptance of yourself (flaws and all, which make you the beautiful, complete, whole, and wonderful person you are). Thank you for this beautiful and meaningful reflection and sharing. You are a beauitful human being!

  3. Hey Miguel,
    I appreciate your openness it can be rare, but I have found it to be a must in my healing. We all have closets that are still packed with old stuff that we have covered with new stuff so all my stuff is packed together and I sometimes look at it and say what the hell. “It is what it is”. But then I look back at it and realize that it’s my stuff and I have to deal with it for ME!! That’s when I usually get busy. I always clean better when I clean for me, I am learning how to use the nay sayer’s words as cleaning agents their abrasiveness work great on the tough spots. We are a work in progress and while I am constantly working, talking and reading about how to lose some of this weight on me, I also know I will never be a size 10 and I don’t want to be. But what I do know is that I am making a difference in a lot of other peoples lives and it feels good. So while we may never be the MVP in sports we are the MVP in folks lives. I can’t speak for everyone but as for me ” I’ll take helping folks for $200.00 Alex”. 🙂

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