Friday, June 5, 2015

The 2015 Linda A. Ferguson Memorial 5K

One week has passed since the 5K took place, and some of my thoughts are collected well enough to share here for a brief moment today.
  The 5K seemed to happen in a whirlwind, but then again, that's what happens when you turn an event date around in 6 months.
  I experienced moments of wondering what in the world I was thinking...and moments of being totally content and confident with the decisions.
   I made drastic changes...pretty much the biggest deals of the event- the course and the date- and this entire year of the 5K was a growing experience for me.
   As a race director.
     In my faith.
        In learning who I am.
  So, let me recap a little for you, but preface by saying this: when experiencing God in the midst of an event in life, words don't do the experience justice. That's what makes it such an amazing journey. This year's event was that for me. Every year God shows up in amazing ways. After all, this event is about the scholarship, which is about Him ...not about me as the race director, not about the runners, not about my mom or my family.... it's about giving back to others in need,  for His glory, not ours.

  Lessons I learned in 2015:

- Mistakes Happen: While very few will know the behind the scenes dramatic mistakes that occurred this year, I will tell you that I learned some very big lessons through them. Like better proof reading, for instance. And that you must communicate (unfortunately) as if you are talking to the dumbest people. Because sometimes... what makes perfect sense to me or someone involved in race industry, will make 0 sense to others. And mistakes take place . I'll be honest... I had a few quiet meltdowns. But that's ok, because I came out of them learning some powerful lessons . Like the saying "there's no use crying over spilled milk...." there's no use crying over mistakes.
   Own them. Be humble. And move on. If it's not make or break to the event... move on. It stands as a great way to improve the next year ahead.  Mistakes make room for personal growth and event growth, quite honestly. If I don't make mistakes.... how can I know what needs to be better?

- Change is good:  I implemented a lot of change this  year. That's nearly an understatement. I changed the date. I changed the course. I changed timing companies. I changed the design of my shirts. And quite honestly, while I had several moments of doubt along the way.... those changes all resulted in good. I learned many lessons through the changes. For instance:
     Timing company: Not only did I love the timing company that came out this year, I watched God provide in amazing ways through this change. They were more costly, which means I had to have faith that the funds would come in to cover it all. I had scary moments with this, but in the end, I had nothing to worry about. God had it all covered the entire time. I just had to trust. And in the end... I loved this decision.
     Course change: Boy, did this journey teach me lessons. Lessons of confidence in myself. Lessons of how much I depend on others but really need to learn to do myself. Lessons of humility. Lessons of once again... willing to accept mistakes and grow from them. Overall, a great change. But not without some humbling moments.
     Date change: pretty much for selfish reasons, but the long term result I believe will be a good one. It was extremely challenging to do this flip, but I am so glad I did.

-People: along the journey this year, I must tell you, I learned a lot about people. I learned about myself, as well, but I learned much about others. Who can be counted on , who cannot. I learned about leadership and decisions and telling people concretely what to do instead of trying the "go around" of the people pleasing aspect I tend to implement. I learned about deep friendships and about letting go of friendships. I learned about dynamics of trust. This year taught me much along those lines. At times, the lessons were challenging, but in the end, have developed good foundations. For myself. For my event. For the future of the scholarship.  And sometimes, I learned, while asking is good and necessary, waiting to be approached can be good, too.

-Multitasking: While I am a good multitasker, I learned that there are a few things I have to do singly and not while also trying to do something else. Like giving directions out. :) My mind has to be focus on certain things and not accomplishing 10 things at times. I generally do multi tasking quite well, honestly. Give me 3 tasks... they'll all get done. But... sometimes my focus must remain on one and then moving on. Lesson learned :)

-My dad:  While my mom is often the source of my "hero" relationship in life, my dad has quietly grown into that role as well. My dad was the only one to always be there for me through this year of growth and change. He really does not understand the 5K world at all- he comes and shows up, but he doesn't understand the behind the scenes execution. That's ok. He listened. He prayed. He was always there when I called in frustration or in complete joy. My dad is pretty amazing. And while he always says "i'm not sure I can walk all that..." he comes in his worn out sneakers and blue jeans and is never the last to finish. He's much stronger than he thinks. And I am proud to have him as my dad. And to walk this journey of giving away a yearly scholarship with my dad.

-Trust and Provision: I leave this lesson for last. Not because it's the least important, but on the contrary, it was the strongest and most powerful lesson for me. Many don't understand that the core of every decision I make (should) be based on my faith. And prayer. I had many people doubting me through this year's event, that my decisions were wrong or that I couldn't/shouldn't do it. Or that i should give up. Goodness... I doubted myself many times.  But this year I learned to believe in myself in stronger ways than ever before . But more than that... I learned that when acting in faith, God always provides. ALWAYS.  And often times, He will wait until the last minute to teach me and let me know that it is all about Him and the fact that I need to lean into Him.
  Mistake? Be humble... admit it... He will take care of the details.
  I was in the red a week before the event... I was worried.... and in the end of the event- we made more this year than last year! With less sponsorship and more bills to pay.... we came out stronger than in the year past. That could only be God. Yes, I was His hands and the event planner... but He was the One orchestrating all those details I had to be patient to see unfold and know that He was the one behind the provisions.
 Need People to help? Let me tell you.... I had some amazing friends helping on the day of. Kristin was an amazing friend through it all. And on the day of. Dolly was eager to help and hands on. Julie brought a wealth of knowledge to the table and was able to be a self sufficient volunteer. Cheri... well, Cheri was a unique gift that would take too long to type out, but she came into the picture just days before the event and did ANYTHING I needed at that point. Including recruiting some people with her! It was pretty fantastic to watch unfold.
   God provided in ways I could not have asked or imagined. But then again.... that's what He always does. We just have to be willing to wait on it . And waiting is hard.
Me and Kristin

Dolly, Julie, Me, Kristin 

 I'm just saying that this year's 5K was amazing. It was so much fun. I could not have asked for more beautiful weather. The runners trickled in. I asked for 40 (to beat my number from last year.) 42 signed up. I have learned that while quantity brings the donations in, it's about quality, too.  We will be able to give another great scholarship in 2016 and I am really looking forward to the event planning of the 2016 race.... with a whole year ahead, and no doubt many more lessons to come.
     I stand in awe at the amazing things God does.
My brother, me, my dad
Evidence of a hard worker and a day well executed

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