Tuesday, April 17, 2012

A Runner

I don't consider myself a runner in this season. Sure, I run a couple miles a couple times a week, but that is much different than being a runner! I even know some things for sure about running:

I love to run - always have!
After I run, I'm glad I ran.
Running helps me stay healthy
And keep off unwanted pounds.
The more I run, the more I CAN run.
Running is a good activity for me.

I know these things to be true, but I still do not consider myself to be a runner. Why? Because there are ways runners think that I do not currently think! I know, because in previous seasons of life I could say with the running masses, "I am a runner."

Here's the difference - thought patterns. My current thoughts go something like this:

I need to run.
But I don't feel like it.
But I need to run.
The kids are home and I shouldn't leave them.
Running is good for me.
But it means changing clothes and going out and getting sweaty and then I'll have to wash my hair. . .
But I need to run.
My knee hurts, I better not go out today.
If I don't run I'll gain back more of the weight I lost last year.
But I'm busy, I need to pack.
C'mon Jen, get out, you know you'll be glad you went.
Uhgg, I know I need to run, but. . .
So I put on my shoes, step out the door, stand on the porch, and dread taking the first step.
But I do it, and within a block I'm glad I'm outside, fresh air making my thoughts clearer
And I'm glad I went

However, those are not the thoughts of a runner. Maybe occasionally a true runner has days like that, but it has been my experience, like when I was training for a 1/2 marathon, that a true runner thinks more along these lines:

What days can I get out this week?
I want to get more miles in, so I need more time.
I'll pay a babysitter to come so that I can have a full hour.
My knee hurts, I'll just stretch a bit more and go anyway.
I'm busy, but I always think better after exercise.
It's not about the weight, it's about getting out and doing it.
Who can I get to go with me?
How far can I go today, I'll push a little harder.
How fast can I go today, maybe I can increase my pace.
So I put on my shoes, hurry out the door, bound down the steps and I'm off.

Same verb - run - very different lifestyles!!

So as I'm jog/walking this morning, thinking of this blog post, it occurs to me that running and being a follower of Jesus might be a pretty good parallel. You know, thought patterns, where we get stuck, what comes easy, and what takes work, eager anticipation versus duty. . . but rather than write out my thoughts I think I'll leave you to come up with your own parallels today.

If you find yourself in a season of life where "running" doesn't come easy, remember that you'll be glad you got out and did whatever it is you need to do. And perhaps the more you do it, the more you will grow into a true "runner."

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