Isn’t it funny how our greatest strength often functions as our greatest crutch? This seemingly oxymoron is quite true in my own life. One of my strengths is embracing adventure and new life experiences. However this sense of independence has not always been positive in my development.
My independence is a mask.
It took me awhile to face that unnerving fact. Hidden behind my adventurous, “can do” attitude is an unhealthy combination of fear, pain, and pride. One of the hardest things was realizing my vulnerability and need for others. Asking for help has never been something that comes naturally to me.
But we weren’t designed to have it all together and be invincible. Uniquely equipped with different skill-sets, we were built to rely on and help one another. This give-and-take model balances our inherent need for relationships and community. It took me a longtime to discover this truth and realize it was not healthy to continue to keep others at arm’s length.
On my first 18 mile run last year—I just wanted to quit. It hurt. I was hot, tired and unmotivated. I needed support. I finally spoke up and admitted to my friend and running partner, Steven Rexroth, that I was struggling. Instead of running ahead as he so easily could have done, Steven stayed right by my side, attempted to distract me from my momentary pain and gave me the encouragement I needed to finish. He was also the first person to high-five me with congratulations when I completed an awesome 20miler run the next week.
There is an African proverb Team World Vision uses often simply states “If you want to go FAST, go alone. If you want to go FARTHER, go TOGETHER.” While this clearly applies to the challenge of running 26.2 miles, we have to recognize it also clearly applies to LIFE. Life is a journey, far more like a marathon than a short sprint. We all need each other as we face life’s hurdles and valleys.
So I’ve done one marathon.
I’m learning how to ask for help and support.
It doesn’t mean either are easy or a breeze for me.
This marathon season I went for a life goal -$10,000, 200 lives. Not only am I challenging myself physically, I continue to challenge myself to live vulnerably, humbly, honestly. I can’t run 26.2 miles without the cheers of the crowd and support of my team. I can’t raise $10,000 wishing on a cloud. So here I am on a journey of growth—and guess what?? I am continually blown away by the generosity and support of others who have already helped me raise 28% of my fundraising goal! With $7200 left to go, will you help me complete this goal? Let’s bring clean water to each and everyone!
Search teamworldvision.org->Leah Nichols. I’ll be there waiting, training, and asking.