Wednesday, September 15, 2010

A Lesson in Humility

Yesterday around noon I got all suited up - gym shoes, running shorts, the works - to go for a run. But just as I started to walk out the door, I found myself paralyzed. The truth is that I HATE running. I hate exercising. It's uncomfortable, it's unpleasant, it hurts, my face gets red, my hair gets sweaty, and I just plain hate it. *shudder* Not to mention every other runner is faster than me and it's SO embarrassing. So I stood there for 5 minutes reasoning myself into it and finally I thought, "This can be a lesson in humility."

I was a junior in high school when my friend David told me about this unusual litany that he found in the back of an old prayer book. It's called the Litany of Humility by Cardinal Merry del Val and well, it's the weirdest prayer ever. You pray "That others may be loved more than I," "That others may be chosen and I set aside," "That others may be preferred to me in everything." Unconventional, but beautiful. So I thought about this prayer and I reasoned, "Doing this will help me to be less vain/proud." Because let me tell you, it is impossible to feel vain when you are huffing along with a red face, watching an 80-year-old woman pass you by. True life.

As I got down to the lakes, I saw a crowd of 8 or 10 young moms, each wearing exercise clothes and pushing a stroller. Suddenly I was hit with an attack of baby envy. (I'm not the only person who gets that, right? Right??... don't answer that.) But then they started sauntering around the lake at their mom-like pace and I ran past them and sprinted off into the distance. This leads me to Reason I Like Being Single of the Day: I can run around the lakes at my own pace instead of being slowed down by a stroller. (Not that I don't want a stroller someday, just not right now.)

Later that day, I passed by one of my guy friends reading. I stopped to chat with him and was hit with another Freaky Tess Phobia... panic around cute guys. This guy has been dating my friend for like a decade and yet I freak out around him just because he's cute. What is up with that?? As I walked away from him, replaying in my head all the "dumb things" I did and said (as one does), I remembered the Litany of Humility.

You know, it's a lot easier to get over embarrassment if you tell yourself the embarrassment was good for your soul.


  1. Tess!!

    We should go running together. I am not kidding when I say I am an awful runner. I'm not just saying that to be (fake-ingly) humble, its true. I hate it, but I also hate those extra pounds haha :)
    We should try it sometime next week. Believe me, I can hardly run a mile straight without dying!


  2. Vanessa, that is a GENIUS idea. Seriously I need a running buddy! And believe me, you can not possibly be a worse runner than me. What about 7:30 am on Monday?