Why I Run

It's that time of year where people make new year's resolutions to get in shape for the next year. This is pretty obvious when you go to the gym and the parking lot is fuller than usual. I'm still trying to get in shape, but I only have a couple main fitness goals for 2010:

  • Complete my second SuperSprint Triathlon with a faster time than last year (54:52)
  • Work to set a new personal 5k record under 25 minutes (or at least beating 25:10)
To help motivate those of you who think you could never run even a mile, I'll have you know that I never considered myself a runner. I hated running. In fact, in junior high, we had to do the mile fitness test and had to finish in under 11 minutes. I don't remember exactly how long it took me to finish the run (or in my case, run/walk), but I'm pretty sure it was close to 11 minutes. I have no idea how I came to be able to run 3.1 mile races, and with decent times.

So why do I run now? (and bike and swim)

It used to be mainly just to lose weight and to get in shape (it still is partially about that), but I also get a sense of accomplishment from completing each run or race. I'm also just amazed at how God created the human body to have this kind of physical endurance (an endurance that keeps on building as I train and work out). I never would have thought that I could finish a SuperSprint triathlon (375m swim/10k bike/2.5k run) or run a 5k. If you'd have asked me if I'd ever do either of those things years ago (even last year), I'd probably say, "No way."

My triathlon training also taught me that just as I was so willing (or could at least force myself) to wake up extra early to work out in the mornings, go to work, then do another evening work out, I should be training myself up in my spirtual life as well. Here is what Paul says in 1 Corinthians 9:24-27 (NLT):

Don’t you realize that in a race everyone runs, but only one person gets the prize? So run to win! All athletes are disciplined in their training. They do it to win a prize that will fade away, but we do it for an eternal prize. So I run with purpose in every step. I am not just shadowboxing. I discipline my body like an athlete, training it to do what it should. Otherwise, I fear that after preaching to others I myself might be disqualified.

More than training up my physical body that will not last (we're only getting older every day), I need to remember to be training myself spiritually, reaching toward that heavenly prize. If I'm disciplined enough to wake up at 5 AM to swim, I can also be disciplined enough to wake up a little earlier to read my Bible and pray once in a while. If I can head straight to the gym after work, I can have my quiet time be the first thing I do when I get home too. It's all about priorties and living in light of what we're striving for. So a struggle for me at times is not allowing my race training and working out to get in the way of my time with the Lord. That is far more important and precious. It has lasting value.

So in 2010, I want to reach those fitness goals (and eventually my triathlon goal is to do a Sprint distance triathlon). More importantly, I want to be more disciplined in training myself up in the way of the Lord. Can we all encourage each other to take up this last challenge together?


Anonymous said...

i need to start running again -_- gotta buy a new batter for the Nike+ sensor... wish i was running as much as you tho!

Christy said...

I don't run too far though right now...the longest I've gone is probably like 3.5 miles, but my goal is to work up to a 10k distance (6.2 mi).

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