Nothing defines a “love/hate relationship” like running does, for me. There are days when the thought of going for a run literally makes me want to cry, and there are days when a good run makes me feel like I can conquer the world. So, what makes me keep consistently running when there are days that I absolutely hate it?
I recently signed up for my first half marathon (The Dallas Marathon – December 14th), so I’ve been in training for a few weeks now. Today I did a 9 mile run, which is the farthest I’ve run in years now. Up until mile 8, it really wasn’t that bad, but I was definitely dying between 8 and 9. Once I made it to mile 9 though, I got that “runners high” and suddenly it became clear to me why I love running, and in general, why I run.
I have been told on more than one occasion that I’m very “wound up”. Like most girls, my mind tends to race and race about anything and everything. I discovered today that running “unwinds me”. Especially on these long runs, I go through my list of things that my mind races about, and bring each one of those things specifically to the Lord – my family, work, insecurities, fears, friends, etc. It’s a time specifically set aside that I have with just me, the pavement, and the Lord. And I unwind.
“Cast all your anxieties on Him, because He cares for you.” 1 Peter 5:7
Also like most girls, I struggle with insecurities about my body fairly often and consistently find flaws or things I wish were different. When I run though, I’m thankful for my body. Thankful that it is strong, it is carrying me, it is healthy. Running reminds me that the Lord has blessed me with a healthy body and I need to praise Him for that…not constantly complain about its shortcomings.
“I praise you, for I am fearfully & wonderfully made.” – Psalm 139:14
So, maybe you’re one of those people that running makes you want to cry. But, let me challenge you to lace up your tennis shoes, and try it. Maybe it’s just a mile the first time, or running for 5 minutes. But finding time to take care of our bodies, be outside in this beautiful Fall weather, and connect with our Maker truly enriches life tremendously. And I hope each one of you find that enrichment whether it be in running, or something that is equally inspiring and freeing to you.