LENT REFLECTION #24
The other day, my husband and I went for a run. As we reached our turn around point, a group of college-age runners sped by. Leading the group, was a young girl with legs about the length of my body, and a long ponytail chasing her on her seemingly effortless run.
By her pace, I thought perhaps it was her speed day or maybe a long run. Whatever it was, she knew why she was running. All runners know.
Running reasons always start with the basics: lose weight, lower risk of heart disease, and improve overall health.
But running is so much deeper. Running gives more, even when you don’t ask for it, even when you don’t expect it. Running is generous and painful, fulfilling and grueling. All we have to do is show up.
When I lace up for a run, I always picture myself going so much faster than I actually can. But that’s not why I run.
When I was younger, I had PR’s and long distance goals. I ran so I could justify dessert or shed some water weight. In my first race ever, a college campus 8K (random distance) in Flagstaff, I ran with my friend Dan. We came in dead last. In that instance, I ran for the t-shirt and to say I did it. And I did it.
Now, I run for the peripheral stuff running gives, not to beat a PR or score a dri-fit shirt. Much like our past ancestors, I run for survival. Not the original hunting for prey such as antelope or gazelles type of survival…
…just mom survival. Here’s why I run:
- Simplicity: it only takes shoes, desire and about 45 minutes
- Perspective: it makes the mystery of what’s for dinner, not a big deal
- Refocus: it opens my mind to new ideas (dinner again)
- Meditation: this is my meditative time, just me and my labored breathing
- Body Awareness: feeling the wind on my face, lungs breathing, and sweat pouring
- Afterward: the gift of a pounding heart, thankful legs and arms, and a clear mind
- Recalibration: working through injuries, relishing rest
- Family fitness: being a positive example for our kids, even though they all run faster than me
- Success: knowing my mind and body can fight through every incline and rough patch even when everything hurts
- Exposure: all travel should include a run to experience the area
- Clean slate: even 30 minutes of running can wipe my worry slate clean
Ultimately, running is the catalyst to joy, freedom, fitness, and longevity. It has helped me become a better version of myself and a calmer mom. All a work in progress. Time for a run.
Spiritual Workout: whether you walk or run today, include a Rosary as you accomplish your workout.
Workout: Run on!