Several months ago one at a get-together, one of my friends was talking about the mini marathon that she runs every year. (I'll call her Zest since she is enthusiastic about everything she does and has more energy than any woman over the age of 3 has a right to.) Apparently it's her goal to introduce a new runner to the mini each time. Also apparent is that my friends are way too healthy because several of them chimed in about their past experiences running the race. I must be insane because I started getting excited as they talked about it. (really need to look into getting that "sucker" tattoo removed from my forehead...) I don't know why, but the thought of running 13 miles and spending months training for a race that I have no possibility of winning sounded like a good idea, so I agreed to run with them. And no, my glass was filled with iced tea, not alcohol. That night found me on the laptop registering before I could change my mind. Now that I'm financially committed I cannot back out!
And now it's time to actually train. Running shoes have been fitted and purchased. Tunes have been loaded onto the iphone and earbuds located. The thought of running for almost three solid hours still scares this sprinter. Truly, the longest race I ever ran in my younger and in-shape days was the 400m dash. My main sports were basketball and volleyball, again filled with sprinting. This will be a new experience that I am somewhat looking forward to. Mainly I'm looking forward to the challenge. I've stopped pushing myself physically. When I work out I tend to stop at the point of pain and listen to the "I can't" voice inside my head. Running the mini I must learn to put a chokehold on that insipid voice.
In addition to running because of the challenge, I'm running because of the way I've been treating myself. Excuses and laziness have led the way to me becoming horribly out of shape. This is not the example that I need to be setting for my children. It is certainly not being a good steward of the body that God has given me. I haven't had the discipline that I need in either my spiritual or spiritual life. In my role of physical therapy, I see the results every day of people who have neglected their bodies. There is no pill the doctor can prescribe to combat overeating and disuse. I constantly find myself telling my patients that it's not too late to start moving and they can improve their own lives but they have to take that responsibility. So do I.
I need to run. For myself. For my family. For my patients. For my faith.