Toe The Line.



It looks like a scene straight from Monty-Pythons “Silly Walks”, ( as some 100+ students parade on the field behind our school, prancing around, kicking their own behinds.


First, they toe the line, waiting for the signal.

They have fun yelling it out. BUTT-KICKS!

They can’t restrain their joy performing these.


Butt-kicks are one of the stretches we perform during our running club practices. Along with lunges, hackey-sack kicks, and various other dynamic and static stretches, we use butt-kicks as we prepare ourselves to take on a challenge each spring. For most of our elementary-aged kids and staff members, it is an audacious challenge. They are training to run a 5K. 


They are stretching, in essence, to be stretched. To have their horizons stretched. To raise their own personal expectations. To have their limits removed. To stretch their vision of who they can be, and what they can accomplish. To be the author of their own stories.


They toe the line, so they can kick butt. 

First, their own.

Then, the world’s.


At an early age they are learning to choose which line to toe. It is a choice we all must make. A question we must all ask ourselves. Which line do you toe?

Toeing the Line – Leashed to the Status Quo.


Life has rules. Lines. Often these lines are for our own protection. Like lanes on a road give us a sense of safety, and order. Lines on a page, help us to organize our thoughts and express them with coherence and sequence.


If we’re not careful, those lines can also hem us in. Tie us down. Become bars that imprison us to set expectations, hardened routines, and pre-determined futures. We’re called to “toe the line” by society, conforming to it’s rules and expectations of how we should act, think, and conduct ourselves. We are like lemmings doting unconsciously along our merry way. 


Toeing this line, our lives don’t experience seasons of transformation.  We are comfortable with being comfortable. We don’t seek to stretch ourselves to the new; the frightening; or the risky. 


The lines we tow, have become a leash.


We are tethered to low expectations.

Leashed to impaired visions that distort our potential.

Chained to the mundane,


We may not even sense it, but we’re getting our tails handed to us.

Toeing the Line – Unleashing the Inner Dynamo


Toeing the line doesn’t have to mean abiding by the status quo. Toeing the line can mean diving into uncertainty. Lacing up our proverbial running shoes and readying ourselves for a new adventure. Stretching ourselves towards the great unknown. Facing our fears, head on, ready to run into them.


Marianne Williamson once posed: 

“Our greatest fear is not that we are inadequate,

but that we are powerful beyond measure.” 


So we stretch, because we realize that life itself is a race, and we no longer want to be sedentary, mere spectators in this sacred event.


We stretch, because we know it awakens not only our bodies, but our spirits, preparing us for the challenges ahead.


We stretch, because it improves our range of motion, and flexibility, preparing to handle the various hills and valleys along life’s race.


We stretch, because although it is counter-intuitive, we realize this short term discomfort; this contorting our bodies and straining our muscles, prepares us for the inevitable greater discomforts that are a part of transformation. We want to be comfortable, with being uncomfortable.


We stretch, because we want to unleash power that lies within each of us.

The power to heal relationships.

The power to protect the weak.

The power to create new solutions, to age-old problems.

The power to step across boundary lines, and forge peace.


We stretch, because we realize that every aspect of our journey demands it.

Without stretching, it is impossible to have faith in a Creator we cannot see.

Without stretching, it is impossible to extend grace to those that have mistreated us.

Without stretching, it is impossible to seek forgiveness from those we have maligned.

Without stretching, it is impossible to set our ego down, and redefine our value.


We stretch, because we have toed the line of the status quo, 

tasting the blandness of its’ promised safety, 

listening to its’ haunting refrain of impossibilities,

slumped over on the edge of subtle defeatism.

Butts, kicked.


We stretch, because we reject that line, 

and instead toe the line of the possible,

diving headfirst into the footrace of our dreams,

renewed with glimmering confidence,

a community of believers,

created to move,

relentlessly forward,

albeit those movements are sometimes awkward,

or silly,

but they are unrestrained,





So which line do you toe?


Kick butt, or have your’s kicked.

7 thoughts on “Toe The Line.

  1. So much to think about in this post! This stood out for me: “a community of believers, created to move…” We were not created to be stagnant, complacent, comfortable. We are challenged all the way through scriptures to stretch. We are commanded to rest and be still because we are supposed to have been focusing, reaching, diving, stretching, flying, actively listening, turning, looking, discovering, and bravely embarking on adventures most of the time!


  2. Great image of all those students preparing for the 5K challenge and these words: “They are stretching, in essence, to be stretched. To have their horizons stretched. To raise their own personal expectations. To have their limits removed. To stretch their vision of who they can be, and what they can accomplish. To be the author of their own stories.”
    Love the repetition of this phrase and your words that follow it, “We stretch because…”


  3. I love the dancers at the end who seem to be moving at their own pace with their own sense of rhythm. You remind us through concrete examples that we get in our own way sometimes. I enjoyed your word play tow and toe.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Greg, you had me engaged throughout the entire post. This was a positive approach to writing about the word stretch for if we do not push beyond the status quo we can fall into the pool of mediocrity where waters can become stagnant. With God at our side we can unleash our possibilities and impact others. That you for kick starting my day.

    Liked by 1 person

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