A Lesson from Running

It’s no secret that I hate running.

Maybe it was being hit square in the face by a soccer ball in middle school PE or my embarrassing 1-season-stint in softball where I proved to the world my uncoordinated ability to be a team player. Somehow during my childhood a strong opinion was formed that I wasn’t a “sports” person, that it’s only for other people who are fit and popular. Looking back, they were probably fit because of all the exercise. Also, they might have been popular because they are outside doing fun things with fun people. Maybe it wasn’t so much the activity itself as the social and physical benefits. All I know is that I spent my childhood, teenage years, early 20s, and late 20s in varying degrees of apathy toward sports and exercise. And then I just had to marry the jock!

So the husband wants me to train with him to do a half-marathon in January. My answer? No thanks…*sad eyes*….ok…fine!

Why do I “want” to?

I do but I don’t. I will declare to you right now, part of me is just downright lazy! I want the result without doing any of the work. I want to sit on the couch watching The Office reruns and eat bon bons. Besides, what if all the work doesn’t actually make a difference? Even if I try I will fail and be in pain the whole time for nothing.

Reading these words on the screen, it is plain to see for everyone that these excuses are feeble and based on lies. I am healthy and it can be done. And since when does failing negate the journey itself? The real problem is that I am believing lies. (Also, when you’re struggling with something internally, It’s very beneficial to argue with yourself by writing it down, I highly recommend it! :D)

My only motivation is my husband’s desire for us not to be fat and to raise fat children with an unhealthy lifestyle. Ok fine, that’s a pretty good reason, and a reason I should have thought of on my own. Besides, if I say no, I know I’ll be sitting at home stubborn-angry-crying into my ice cream that I was so hard headed I wouldn’t even give it a shot. He probably wouldn’t be too thrilled to coming home to that either. The only alternative is to actually go. So I’ve decided to try, but how can I break out of this ingrained hatred for it?

Before I can even lace up my shoes I need to think differently. I can’t stress enough how much easier it is for me if I prepare mentally all day. I made a pros list for myself so I could see it visually. (These are things that benefit me NOW, not like losing weight or living longer) This is a trick I learned in my anxiety workshop when I was in the hospital. Write it all down, and then throw away the cons side. I know those bad thoughts by heart; I don’t need help remembering why I don’t want to run.

Pros

  • guilty pleasure music time
  • I get time to think – prayer comes easier this way, I can have conversations with God much easier when my body is engaged otherwise.
  • Spending time together / camaraderie
  • Husband benefits by having encouragement/a partner to struggle with
  • Other people are encouraged when we tell them and we all get to share struggles and advice together
  • Sometimes Ideas for writing about running come into my head

We can all agree that running and exercise is generally good for us, but what I have learned is even more important and extends out further than just the action. I could certainly just do it begrudgingly and complain and cry my way through every session, but that is childish and not enjoyable. To use a cliché, I don’t just want to survive, I want to thrive. The problem is not that running is an evil demented pastime forced on us by super active skinny people by guilt, nor is my problem to be blamed on the oppressive sedentary lifestyle that most of us lead/ Rather the problem I have to admit, is my attitude.

Question to ponder:

Where in my life do I wish I had a better attitude?

Dear Holy Spirit, grant me the light to see what a glorious opportunity I have to begin fresh each day. help me take whatever steps are necessary to put forth a sincere daily effort. I know You will not deny me the measure of strength and faith I need to get through. 

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