Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Running, My New Obsession, Blog Day #3

Back in February, I decided to take on a new hobby: Running. There was no thought put into it. I just decided one day, downloaded a schedule (Thanks Mel), and began. New Year's Resolutions had restarted my goal of shrinking down to 145 lbs. And I was inspired by my friends who were looking and feeling much more healthy than I have been in a long time.

So, the Couch to 5k program became my hero.

I started with a 5 minute walk, 2 minute jog, and 5 minute walk. I was a little too zealous and took no days off, so my knee forced me to take it easy. Then my wallet was emptied out onto the most expensive shoes I have ever bought in my life. Fast forward to the middle of Lent and I ran a 5K with a time of 36:29.3. Not bad, all things considered.

Run a 5k. Check.

Next up: 10k. . .scheduled for Memorial Day.

It's after Lent now. I can steadily run up to 5 miles.
It helped to have 40 days of no Facebook, aka distraction and procrastination.
No imaginary world in which I could impress people with my new success.
Just being healthy because God wants me to take care of my body. And because extra chins are unsightly.

I learned something from all this, of course. Track with me, if you can. . .

If you are a runner, you will concur with me that there is a moment in your run where you hit a groove. All of a sudden, you're muscles completely relax and you get into a steady rhythm. That's what it seems like to me, anyway, after mile 2. But I have to actually get to mile 2.

Those first two miles, no matter what kind of warm-up and stretching I've done, are kind of brutal. I don't know if it's because I'm still overweight or because I've never been in running shape before, but it's a struggle for me not to think, "I'm not sure I'm going to make it." Every bone in my body wants to quit and walk the rest. But I keep going. I set my eyes ahead and never look down. I concentrate on sucking in my stomach and run to the rhythm of the music playing on my headphones. And then my breathing evens out, my muscles stop protesting and I relax into the workout. Time passes by and the run is finished. . .I recover quickly during the walk home and I feel a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction.

And here is the faith lesson:

The Apostle Paul uses a race to give us a picture of what our faith should be like. He says to run the race as if to win the prize (1 Cor. 9).

I wonder how many of us think the race too daunting, and don't even try. I've done that. I've spent all day in a pity party, wishing I could be in bed hiding. I've eaten a whole batch of brownies all by myself, uncaring of the consequences. And I shamefully admit that I've ignored the fact that I have professed faith in Jesus Christ just because I didn't want to do the work needed to forgive someone. The training and discipline it takes to run a race properly just seems too hard sometimes.

I wonder how many of us start the training, but poop out. I have done this. I had a moment of weakness only one day back on Facebook. "I'm going to wait a few minutes, and see if anyone comments on my post, or has a new update." 5 minutes turned into 30, then an hour passed by. Then another. Pretty soon it was too late for me to go out for my run. And I had eaten a whole lot of cheesecake and chocolate malt balls and leftover biscuits with honey butter. You can say that I was wallowing in my laziness. The next day was spent shaking this off and ignoring feelings of burn-out and mental fatigue. Have you ever been excited to serve people in some fancy ministry, but find yourself burning out and not wanting to continue? Say, for example, like being a mom of toddlers?

I wonder how many of us start running, but quit before finding the "groove". . .Starting something new is always the hardest step. Becoming a Christian, i.e. professing faith and changing one's life, is the "hard" part. Then your life has to change, which means your friends and relationships have to change, which means you have to trust that God will take care of things and that He knows best, which means that you have to acknowledge your constant state of brokenness and live in humility. My spiritual calves are locking up already just thinking about these things.

So here's the best faith lesson of the day:
On my runs, I've found that staying hydrated keeps me from getting cramps. And resolving to finish the run is a must. In my faith, I've found that drinking the Living Water (God's Word) keeps me from becoming spiritually ill and cramping up. And resolving to obey and serve and love and forgive until the end of The Race is a must.

No procrastinating. No complacency. No waiting around for people to post or write me notes. No over-eating empty calories. No bad attitudes. No rash and inconsiderate words coming out of my mouth. No pooping out and watching hours of useless television. No getting stuck on how jiggly I still am. No getting stuck on how others are better "runners" than me. No being satisfied at how spiritual I am and ignoring The Creator who got me there in the first place. No losing sight of the Wonderful End to pick the dandelions off the path.

*sigh. . .I am still a work in progress.

Amazing what one can think of when there is enough FB silence.

1 comment:

Corrie Haffly said...

I'm loving your posts. Glad you are finding time to write!

I so resonate with the groove. I can't wait until I'm sleeping through the night (I told myself I wouldn't commit to try to exercise until I was getting more sleep) because I miss running!