Do you not know that in a race
all the runners compete,
but only one receives the prize?
So run that you may obtain it.
(1 Corinthians 9:24)

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We were
as little children
that day
before the race
the wonder
and terror
of “How can we be!”
to “Yes we are!”

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doing it
seeing it through
making it here
the possibility
that we too
might become more
once again
than the small spaces
we have made of our lives
from what we have known
to all that might be
such birthing
dying to
letting go
it does not come easily
demands much
costs much
as mile after mile
month after month
we have tracked the chart
telling us what to do

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showing us what it takes
we have become believers
early morning runs
long hot
Sunday afternoons
each week
mile after mile
what we had ever done

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and on the day of the race
sun and warmth rising
we run
after mile
so free
keep on

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after mile
doing what we
not collapsing
not falling in
but rising
the terror
of change
upright and tall
to all it has taken
to bring us here
past pain
through “I cannot do this”
to “We are doing this!”

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ever forward
and on
this possibility
this opening
sticky with sweat
the washing of tears
the years
the faces
the encouragement
and cheering crowds
the discipline and grace
to where all begins
and begins again
this discovery
this opening
these tears
this joy

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such happiness
such utter joy
here in this place
beyond the limit
of all we dreamed
to where we become
as little children
in giddiness
in all that is possible

Peter Ilgenfritz
October 16, 2014

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11 thoughts on “26.2”

  1. Peter,

    Congratulations and Well Done!!

    … “The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; … who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement,” …



    1. Thanks Steve! I love the quote – and at times, yes, we know that is us – there in the arena – there doing what we never thought possible before – striving as we never have – discovering what is beyond the bounds of all we thought possible,



    1. Thanks David! It was a huge deal to do this – and a marker for a deep season of change and transformation in my own life. Grateful for how running has helped me keep the pace, keep at it and with it and moving forward into openness, into new, into life, grace and discovery –



  2. We swing ungirded hips,
    And lightened are our eyes,
    The rain is on our lips,
    We do not run for prize.
    We know not whom we trust
    Nor whitherward we fare,
    But we run because we must
    Through the great wide air.

    The waters of the seas
    Are troubled as by storm.
    The tempest strips the trees
    And does not leave them warm.
    Does the tearing tempest pause?
    Do the tree-tops ask it why?
    So we run without a cause
    ‘Neath the big bare sky.

    The rain is on our lips,
    We do not run for prize.
    But the storm the water whips
    And the wave howls to the skies.
    The winds arise and strike it
    And scatter it like sand,
    And we run because we like it
    Through the broad bright land.

    Charles Hamilton Sorley

    There is no giving up, no striving; running is the thing of joy unto itself. A quote, about running I came across recently: Pain is inevitable; suffering is optional. As I see it, life is the macrocosm of running.


    1. I love the poem Larry! Thanks for being my coach and friend and encourager along the way helping me make it through! See you at the Y!



    1. Thanks Ben – the inspiration comes I have found in hearing and heeding that call that says that there is something beyond the limits of the stories you have told yourself, the stories that you believed – a story to be lived. We point to it at church – its there in the gospel – its there in the possibility of something more. I’ve learned well how to bury, ignore and not follow its call. And when I do – I discover out here beyond the edge, the beginning again of everything – call it life, grace, love, God –

      Grateful you are part of the journey with our congregation,



  3. Congratulations, Peter. I like your poetry. I also like Isaiah 40:31: “But they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.”


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