Why I Run (And You Should Too)

It doesn’t take long for people to figure out running is a big part of my life. The question they usually have after learning I’m a runner is “why do you run?”

My answer to this is different from the normal reasons for running or exercise.

  1. Like staying in shape (losing weight)
  2. Stress relief
  3. to have fun
  4. Or make new friends

While all of these are motivations the most important reason for running is this: I run because of what I used to be

Allow me to explain…

God in His sovereignty didn’t choose to give me lots of athletic skill [1] which meant as a child anything that involved physical activity usually ended in embarrassment.

And because exercise was avoided at all costs I was always out of shape and overweight.

It wasn’t till 2000 (a year after graduating from College) that I finally decided to take fitness seriously for the first time in my life.

Today I regret spending so many years using lack of natural ability as an excuse for inhaling bag after bag of microwave popcorn [2].

There’s an idea in the minds of people that unless you have the physical skill of Lebron James, Peyton Manning, or Derek Jeter you can never get in shape. Let me just go ahead and clarify something for you…that’s a lie.

Of course we know this, but sometimes you need to see that non-athletic person conquer physical challenges

And that’s why I run

  1. It isn’t always pretty
  2. You will never mistake me for Usain Bolt
  3. I’m usually the last one in my group
  4. And lets just say my form isn’t perfect [3]

but if one person who buys into the “I can never get in shape” lie sees me and is challenged it will be worth it.

  1. The kind who wore “husky jeans” as a child
  2. Who always got diet pepsi while thier brother or sister got regular pepsi
  3. Who always happened to come down with something just when PE class started
  4. Who tried dozens of diets, but never really changed their eating habits [4]

I’m convinced the world is filled with people who truly want to put the donut down and start getting fit. But they need heros and role models.

Which is why we all must run

  1. the ability to play sports  ↩
  2. Especially days like today when my old knees are giving me grief…and by old I mean 38  ↩
  3. It’s gotten worse since a friend told me I point my feet in when I run  ↩
  4. by the way all of these happened to me so I’m not singling anyone out other than myself  ↩

How I Broke My Stubborn Attitude

How I Broke My Stubborness

Okay I have a confession to make…I’m a very stubborn person [1].

My father used to talk in his sermons about having two sons; one of them would be disciplined with a simple look, while the other required a more “direct approach.” For weeks I asked him which one of the two sons I was, and finally one day he told me “you don’t want to know.”

Thankfully this has changed a lot since childhood. However there are still moments when I still find myself being a stubborn child.

Sunday was one of those moments

The sermon that morning was on Psalm 20, which includes one of the most often quoted verses in all Scripture.

Psalm 20:7 Some trust in chariots, and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God

There are some very powerful (and convicting) truths in this verse:

  1. God is the source of all victory (not me)
  2. The world is not on my shoulders
  3. All I am asked to do is my best
  4. And I was never designed to do all things

This takes a sledgehammer to an attitude of stubborness (relying only on ourselves) that beleives:

  1. I am the source of all victory
  2. I have to take care of everything
  3. I cannot let anything go wrong (if I do it’s the end of the world)
  4. And I am the only one who can take care of my problems

Instead of expecting us to take care of all lifes problems God calls us to simply obey Him [2]

God as a loving father doesn’t want to take the “direct approach” for discipline [3] but as my dad will first give us a look that says “what your doing is wrong.”

*Obviously we don’t see the eyes of God in these situations. I’m referring here to subtle warnings He will give us when we stubbornly rely on our own strength.

As a child my parents used many kinds of discpline to break my strong-will 🙂 but it wasn’t till I got older that this attitude was truly broken.

not by using physical discipline
or grounding
or taking away television
but as I understood how much my stubborness hurt my parents

In the same way it’s helpful to remember that our moments or stubborness bring great pain to our Heavenly Father, who sent His son to die for our sins.

  1. I prefer the term strong-willed  ↩

  2. because we don’t have the strength to care for those problems anyways  ↩

  3. bring situations into our lives that force us to rely upon Him  ↩

What Running 146 Miles in a Month Teaches Me About Life

By this Friday I will have run 146 miles during the month of October [1]. This experience has taught me something very important about myself.

I mean other than the fact that I’m absolutely insane

As a child I was one of those kids who was always saying “I can’t.” This began with refusing to play sports, but soon anything that could possibly end in embarassment was avoided.

Thankfully the list of things I couldn’t do has gotten smaller since then. However running a marathon was near the top of it since my last attempt didn’t end well [2].

After going through a humbling experience we have a few choices:

  1. Use it as a learning experience and try again
  2. Become a stronger person because of it
  3. Never try again and destroy any photographic evidence of it ever happening
  4. Can you guess which one I chose?

I approached the training program in July with lots of skepticism (thinking it would end just like last time) but around mile 100 something occurred to me…my body can do a lot more than I think

Every Saturday morning we have a weekly long-run in preparation for the marathon…over the last four weeks this has included

  1. Eighteen miles
  2. Fourtee Miles (seven of which were uphill)
  3. Twenty Miles
  4. And Twenty-Two miles

Understandably we took it slow and easy during last Saturdays run [3] but as the finish of our last really long run came up members of my group started running faster.

As they pulled away my legs said to me “seriously dude just let them go” but a little voice in my head responded “hey you have enough to keep up.”

So I sprinted in mile twenty-one
After running more than 100 miles that month
And caught up with them.

So don’t listen to that voice that says you should quit

Keep pushing
Keep working
Keep trying
You will be amazed at the results

  1. It would have been more, but I took five days off following dental surgery  ↩
  2. To make a long story short I didn’t train properly or with a group, so not being used to running with other people I started way too fast  ↩
  3. it still hurt quite a bt trust me  ↩