Next, a rant: I hate running. I don’t mean dislike. I don’t mean ‘would prefer to do something else’. I mean hate. I loath running. It is the worst possible way I can think to spend my time. I would rather lick the bottom of your shoe. I’ve read books and articles by runners who talk about connecting with nature, or finding a moment of silence, or zoning out into a place of joy, or whatever little moment of zen they have.
I don’t feel it. I feel less like a graceful swan and more like a sick elephant. Less finely tuned racing machine and more Pontiac Aztec. Somewhere between miles two and three I hit my wall. I can run farther, I just don’t want to. I can run faster, I just don’t like it. I pick an object off in the distance and after several minutes of staring at it, I still haven’t passed it and just get angry. It’s one reason I like cycling. It’s got speed. It’s got finess. It’s got everything that running doesn’t.
That said, I’ve recently decided to fulfill a long standing promise to my wife: I’m going to run a half marathon with her. We’ve picked one out and come October, I’m running 13.1 horrible miles.
less like a graceful swan and more like a sick elephant. Less finely tuned racing machine and more Pontiac Aztec
Finally, why I need this: Because I know that in these moments, growth happens (which is also never fun). It’s similar to the times I hate following Jesus:
But when I signed up to follow Jesus, I gave up those choices. It’s not always easy but I firmly believe it’s necessary. Life can’t be lived fully alone, I need community, I need others, I need to be stretched, changed, and experience growth. I need to tell the truth, not only when convenient but when painful. I need to live authentically not only when around others, but when alone. I need to give up my own personal preference and follow my Master.
Following Jesus requires discipline. It requires doing things that may not always be at the top of my list. It means that sometimes I have to do things I’d rather not.
Why am I running? For much the same reason I decide to follow Jesus: I need to grow and change. I need the push to do something outside of myself that makes me better (in this case better health). And I do it because I trust that somewhere in the journey I will discover what I found in following Jesus: a deep and abiding joy.