I started running as a sport when I was 14. I ran cross country. Although some days, I ran because I got a buddy bag (yummy snacks) on Fridays, other days I ran because it I really enjoyed it. It was just me and the road for 30-60 minutes a day. I learned that through running I had time to clear my head. I had time to think about God. Think about friends and family. But running was not natural for me. It was hard. I was exhausted during the run, wanted to quit and I was not fast. But I loved those endorphins. My first race (so many years ago), was just plain rough. I walked half of it, threatened to quit probably every minute but I finished the race. Only with the best coach, a senior, and my parents who cheered me on. They said “Just give it one more race” and that I did. My PR (personal record) dropped 8 minutes. I ran the whole thing. I was beyond proud of myself…I ran for the next 4 years. Then I graduated. And slowly quit being a regular runner. This year is different. I will be a runner and the first week went AWESOME. My love for running (or the endorphins) never went away. But more than my love for being healthy, I’ve learned a lot through running.
1. Running takes discipline. You need to have a schedule. You need to have discipline to stick with that schedule.
2. Running makes you feel good. It gives you this crazy thing called an endorphin [it increases self-confidence, reduces pain]
3. Running is about you. Unlike other sports, the only thing that can make you better is you. If you want to be in better shape, then YOU have to do something about it. If you want to be faster, then YOU have to train harder. [This has a direct comparison to life. If you want to be happier, then you need to do something about it. If you want to get better grades, you have to work hard.] No one in running or in life can change anything about you, until you do something. People can influence you (to run faster, to eat healthier, whatever) but ultimately you have to be the one to change.
4. Running taught me thankfulness. If you are able to run for 3 miles without stopping, God has done a lot for you. He gave you a heart that’s beating harder than normal, but not to the point of you collapsing. You gave you lungs that work hard, legs to keep going, blood that keeps pumping, and sweat to keep you cool. And if you run outside, you hear birds chirping [Matthew 6:26], leaves (and in the fall it is beautiful). I could go on, but I may never stop.
5. Running taught me about the endurance I need to get to Heaven. Running long distance takes endurance, it is not something that is easy. There are temptations, like wanting to quit. But if we keep going, we can achieve the goal we set for ourselves (whether that be a certain time, a certain distance, pounds lost). Just like in life, there will be temptations to quit reaching upward to heaven, we must keep going, because Heaven is our goal. And thankfully He knows what we are going through and will cheer us on [Hebrews 4:15]. He was tempted to not go to the cross, and yet he did. He was tempted in every way and never gave in. So with his help, I am able to overcome.
Thankful today for the ability to run physically.