Above picture: my first 5k with my wife and daughter, October 28, 2017.
I haven’t always been a runner. In fact, there was a time not too long ago when I hated the thought of going for a run. I didn’t run, wouldn’t run, and couldn’t for more than a few seconds even if I tried. But now I run at least 3 days a week and sometimes twice that. Here’s why.
I didn’t start by running. When you top the scales at over 300 pounds and it’s not from strength training, running is nearly impossible. Instead, I started my journey toward more healthful living by walking. But as I shed the pounds and gained endurance, jogging was the natural next step. And now I run. My exercise goal is actually the same as when I started my journey: 30 minutes of moderate exercise 4-6 days a week. But “moderate” is no longer a brisk walk. Instead, it’s a casual 3-mile jog through my neighborhood.
It Feels Good
I run whatever time of day best suits our family schedule. But my favorite time to run is first thing in the morning. Starting your day with exercise has many health benefits. But for me, starting my day with a run also lifts my spirits and puts me in a better mood for the rest of the day. It wakes me up, gets my day started productively, and I’m sure those endorphins released during my workout help as well. All of these help me start the day on a positive note that carries over into the rest of my day.
Ultimately, for me, running is a spiritual experience. My goal to live more healthfully started with a conviction that my physical body is a stewardship from the LORD, a temporary gift given to me for the purpose of carrying out the Kingdom work that God has called me to do. I came to understand that if I wanted to be around to enjoy this life with my family as well as fulfill God’s calling on my life, I had to surrender my eating and exercise habits to the LORD. Also, when I run, I pray and listen to worship music. So running is one way I draw near to the LORD.
Running isn’t for everyone. And physical wellness is a very personal issue, though it does affect the lives of other people in our lives. But if the LORD is burdening your heart to live more healthfully or actively, I encourage you to step out in faithful surrender. Then wait and see how the LORD works in your life.