As I write this blog, I am so blessed that many friends and my family were able to be at Total Fitness to watch me complete a 5k run around the running track, raising money for Enable which I lead. You might be thinking that’s nice, but for me it was more than that, it was a massive life achievement.
I was born eight weeks premature and with Cerebral Palsy, my mum was told I would never walk, talk or have any way of a fulfilled life. I wasn’t able to take my first steps until the age of five and a half after a number of operations, and started to connect sentences together from the age of six.
I have overcome many obstacles in life, with the love and support of my family and friends, but the constant in my life has been my faith and relationship with God, which started at the age of sixteen. Then I read this verse through a different set of eyes:
Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV)
11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
I truly started to believe that I had a plan and purpose for my life. Fast forward to now and, as I trained for this 5k, it dawned on me that as a disabled person, I not only have to be spiritually fit but physically as well.
I love this version from 1 Corinthians:
1 Corinthians 9:24-27 (MSG)
24-25 You’ve all been to the stadium and seen the athletes race. Everyone runs; one wins. Run to win. All good athletes train hard. They do it for a gold medal that tarnishes and fades. You’re after one that’s gold eternally.
26-27 I don’t know about you, but I’m running hard for the finish line. I’m giving it everything I’ve got. No sloppy living for me! I’m staying alert and in top condition. I’m not going to get caught napping, telling everyone else all about it and then missing out myself.
As a husband and father of two children I have an obligation to keep myself fit spiritually & physically. Training for this event opened my eyes to what I was eating and my portion sizes and challenging my views on fitness. As the above scripture says I need to keep myself in the race and run it well.
As I run Enable a ministry from the Message Trust, helping people with seen and unseen disabilities connect with God, I want to encourage and challenge other disabled people to raise the bar in their own lives and stay in the race. Not just to exist but knowing the plan and purpose God has for them, and to be released into their gifting and calling in life!
Enable Team leader