I run to music every chance I can get. During a competition, it is a penalty, but during practice, it is part of my rhythm. Compare it to reading on the toilet, driving while eating, or watching TV with some other piece of technology in your hand….it just happens.
This am, I left to go running a little after 6 am. At 5:30, I drove to a spot on the route and left a bottle of sports drink on the side of the road…90 minutes of running doesn’t need to be an encounter with dehydration.
Three miles into the run, clouds begin to replace the stars that greeted me at the start of the run. For a couple hundred yards, a hawk escorted me down the country road, flying overhead. Wonder what it saw in me that made it follow…
At the 5 mile point, I crested the top of a hill and got to see the sun peaking up over the horizon. It illuminated the cows in the field next to the road in a yellow hue that seemed like I was looking at them through colored sunglasses. Five minutes later, they looked like regular cows again…amazing how they changed their hide so quickly when I wasn’t looking.
At 6+ miles, I jump up and touch the stop sign, turn around and head back to the sports drink 20 minutes away. Facing the sun, I put on some sun glasses and begin the haul back to home.
Fifteen minutes later, I crested the top of a long hill. I remembered Sharon telling me to practice going downhill at speed, so as to get used to it. Ironically, “My songs know what you did in the dark” started playing on my music device, so I concluded it was a sign to “light ‘m up” as I ran downhill. The sprint lasted a little less than half a mile, but I never felt the need to back off until I hit the bottom. What a joy to be able to go fast!
I stop to get a last chug of cold drink and begin the last 30 minutes or so of running to get back home. The sun was higher in the sky now, and the sweat was flowing. An hour down, 30 minutes to go!
With a mile left till our driveway, I commit to an “all in” run. That means go as fast as I can push my legs. The route is mostly flat, but most of my muscular glycogen is gone now. But my body was willing.
And, it didn’t hurt that “Happy” was playing in my ears. The author of the song claims that we should “Clap along if you feel like a room without a roof” I am happy, right now, in this moment.
I heard someone say that they got no joy from exercise. I don’t get that. I ran hard not because I desired to run faster or better. I ran hard because I could! I hear people share that they wish they could fly like a bird. Wonder if birds wish they could run like we do…
I crest the hill and hit “end workout” on my device. And, I cry. In April of this year, I wore a walking boot most of the time, as the act of putting weight on my foot was overwhelming. My foot hurt as I walked from the bed to the bathroom at the World Championship in June. Just two weeks ago, I had surgery scheduled to remove a neuroma in my foot.
I cancelled the surgery. Instead, I am running 40 miles a week preparing for the longest run of my life.
Final mile. 6:10.
I shake my head in disbelief. That speed for a single mile is great. That speed after 11 miles is beyond good…for a 20 year old. For a man nearly 50, that is nuts. This adventure continues.
“Holy Crap!” That is all I could muster and say….that, and a few, “Thank you, Jesus!”
And hour later, I begin work, with our Monday morning sales call. As president, I set the tone for the company, and employees follow my lead. Instead of discussing current marketing efforts, I begin the call with a request for prayer. Over the last hour, I have basked in the knowledge that I am blessed beyond words with a fitness level that I don’t deserve. All around me, people close to me suffer with physical ailments…some of them without cause, but for a few of them, their issues were avoidable. It breaks my hurt to ponder this.
“I want to start the meeting with prayer requests. Let’s pray for those with physical ailments whom we know.”
I conclude that this joy of physical wellness is not mine for the keeping. For those who can’t share it with me, let’s get them help from the One Above.
We prayed for my father-in-law, one employee with Lime disease and another whose son just had surgery last week. Others join in and share.
We all have blessings that aren’t meant to be kept. Their value exists only when shared. Pass forward what you have that you don’t deserve. We are successful not to gloat over. We are successful to motivate others and share our blessings with others.