Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. (Hebrews 12:1-3 ESV)
Since beginning my adventures in weight loss, I have tried several different methods of exercising. To me, it is important to maintain variety, and sample different outlets in order to discover what challenges your body the most, and what you enjoy the most. I would never stick to eating healthy if I didn’t enjoy the lunches and snacks that I pack daily. I would never continue with an exercise routine if I hated every second of the workout.
I love that there are so many different references to how spiritual life is equatable to the training of the physical body. The most striking similarity is that of discipline. You don’t just happen upon a relationship with Christ that is firmly rooted and can stand the weather if you don’t put any effort into it. And you cannot maintain physical fitness if you never challenge your muscles or fuel your body appropriately.
On my journey to being fit, we decided that we would begin training for a 5k in August. (It is more than one 5k, mind you, this is a lot of work to not keep using it…) I stink at running. I stunk at the beginning. I stink less now. I do enjoy it, though. It took me a considerable amount of run time to realize just how mental a run is.
I began asking myself while running, do your feet hurt? Do your shins hurt? Do your knees hurt? Do your thighs hurt? Does your stomach hurt? Does your chest hurt? Do your arms hurt? Do your shoulders hurt? Does your head hurt? As I answer the questions and realize that it is all answered with “no”, I recognize that running is much more mental than physical.
Don’t get me wrong, I recognize that there is definitely a lot of physical work in going on a run, but there is a lot of mental self-talk that comes with strapping on my sneakers and heading out the door.
I wrestled with even considering myself a runner. Let’s face it, I’m doing the couch to 5k program, and that consists of a lot of walk/run intervals. However, I know that this is exactly the right sort of training that is necessary in order for me to be able to run the distances that I long to run, and at the speeds for which I am aiming.
It has been a considerable amount of help that I have A and L to complete runs with me. I don’t know that I have enough self-motivation in terms of running yet. I can make myself complete a good number of workouts, but when it comes to running, I find it hard to do it solo. I know that there are people out there who can’t imagine doing a run with another person because for them it is a chance to be by themselves.
But I love the company of talking with others as I am running. And I also appreciate the challenges of working out with other people. I always find myself pushing a lot harder to keep going because there is a level of accountability in it. And, I say that there is a lot of merit in having people to keep you accountable in all areas of your life.
What about you? What kind of exercise plan do you follow? Are you a runner? Would you ever try running?