Test Everything: Hold Fast to what is Good.

Yes that is from First Thessalonians 5:21.    I’ve had quite a lesson in the past two days.  While I choose to look at it Biblically I think it applies to all of us here trying to live on this earth.

I learned this lesson from of all things, a worn out pair of running shoes.

You might remember me getting REALLY EXCITED a few months back about my new pair of running shoes. I’ve been running in them ever since being fitted in them and being completely allowed to run again.   They are the Saucony Mirage, and they, as well as the Kinvara seem to have a limited run life.

This past week I had 2 difficult runs.  One problem I was having towards the end of the runs was simply pain all over.  My legs just hurt with each foot strike.

After my last training session my coach saw my shoes and looked alarmed, and said, “Well you are stuck now, you have to run in them for the weekend”.

I had not looked at the shoes and started to think, gee maybe they are a little worn out.

 Running shoes generally lose their oomph long before they start to look really ratty, so If you think these shoes above look pretty good, well they DO.  sort of.

I took them into my shoe store and the fitter there raised her eyebrows after looking at them carefully.

She called the wear pattern, “Interesting”   I had never heard that before at all.

I tend to think it is “average”  Based on her analysis of the wear on the shoes I am now officially, “A very obvious forefoot striker, with some drag on my right leg”  Its hard to show in the photo, but the shoes are almost a bit concave these days.

Her advice: switch immediately to the new shoes- since they are the same model and such.  The new ones look like this!

I think you can tell the difference.

I got the same advice on line.   My PT also told me to go ahead with the new shoes.  So I decided to go ahead and switch out.  I was pretty nervous about this, as one of the cardinal rules of running is

Nothing New for Race Day.  This has been drilled into my head since I was about 8 years old.  It goes for Shoes, t shirts, jackets, socks, music, and nutrition.  Race day is going to give enough problems, with out adding in something new to the mix.

So I struggled with the advice of switching.  It came form people I trust.  But somehow I still was holding on to the Nothing New philosophy.  Despite my mental holding on to that idea, I knew I was having a lot of pain during my runs and the ground was feeling very hard.   Slowly, I slipped on the new pair, and took the dog out for a walk in them.

They felt great.  Like my old shoes, but better!  I was still not totally convinced.  I was thinking, “Just run the race in those others and then you can switch”.

This morning I got up and took the dog out for a run in my new shoes.  (I was wearing the shoes, not the dog.)  Again, much easier on the joints.  After the successful short try out run, I was SOLD!   I will be in Bright new white Saucony’s at the race start.  I’ll look like a crazy newbie as the white is almost flouroescent but…my legs will thank me.

So what was the lesson?   Well I started thinking about how often we hold on to things.  Beliefs, objects, even resentments.  We hold on to and carry around a lot of stuff with us.  Most of us hold our beliefs, objects and resentments pretty close to our hearts.  We don’t entertain the idea that something that has served us well in the past may not serve us again in the same way under different circumstances.

God wants us to be strong in our beliefs (probably he would prefer we let go of both the objects and resentments.) We should not, however, be automatons.  We should constantly be testing our own ideas and beliefs.  What was once “true” in our minds may actually be holding us back from something wonderful.  God encourages us in Thessalonians to “Test Everything”  and to hold on to what is good.    The Bible does not say, “Hold on to things that no longer work for you!”

So, as I am learning to run again, I’m learning a lot about my shoes, and God.  Admittedly…the rest of my running attire for my race is  tried and true (tested if you will)  clothing.  If I had held on to that stubborn belief of nothing new on race day, I would have been clunking through 13.1 miles and ending up with some very sore joints from the experience.

What are you holding on to today that may be holding you back?

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10 thoughts on “Test Everything: Hold Fast to what is Good.

    • I never thought I could use Newtons….But boy I would love them as a training shoe, because these Sauconys, as nice as they are, surely are running out fast.

  1. wow..The comparison pictures really shows how worn those sure are. I know, I have to remember to buy new shoes because I don’t pay attention. Glad you are going to run in them. No pain is worth the new shoes and looking like a newbie 🙂

  2. Good thoughts out of a post about, initially, worn-out shoes! I wish my parents and brother would understand that the past doesn’t own them, and it’s alright to move forward and leave some things behind.

    Of course, my old walking shoes are still under my bed, cracked and soles so worn they don’t support my feet anymore. I keep saying I’m holding on to them for when I have to do especially dirty chores (house painting!), but I love my new shoes so much, I never take them off. So I’m not entirely free from hanging on to old, worn things myself.

  3. It can be very hard to know when to let something go, be it shoes or a belief, and we need to be reminded of that. Thanks for the post!

  4. Great analogy! Sometimes letting go is so very hard but necessary for growth.

    Glad you were able to get a new pair of shoes before the race. One thing I was taught to do is log every mile I do on those shoes. They are only worn to run in and I will wear an old pair of running shoes to a race. Then I will change to the new ones before the start of the race. In the Fall I injured my foot and it was determined to be the running shoes. I had been doing Zumba in them so I had really worn them out in multiple places. According to my runner friend, the shoes should be replaced every 200 miles or so. –So I’ve been told. I haven’t tested that theory yet but thought I’d pass this info on. 🙂

    I’m so curious to hear how the race went. I hope you post soon.

    • All of that info is correct Monsoon. the Saucony’s I am using apparently are wearing out really fast, so I was surprised as I probably have only put about 180 or so on them. I also admit, I kind of do an every three month change out since I am shoe lazy. The best thing to do and what I should have done was to have 2-3 pairs of shoes in rotation. Race went really well. I am really tired, so not sure I’ll post up tonight or not!

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