After my previous post about running the Turkey Trot, my friend, Cheryl Harrington, offered to train me. She decided last year to run the Long Beach 1/2 Marathon and spent 6 months training with Claudia Sloan (the Sloans are amazing runners). I watched her persevere and learn to love running. And now she's offered to help me learn to love it as well. Today was our first day. She left 25 minutes ago and I am just starting to feel the goodness of the run (those of you who've ran, know what I'm talking about). We spent a half hour pounding the pavement, running and walking alternately (run 4 minutes, walk 2). Poor Cheryl had to listen to me huffing and puffing the entire way.
Before she left, she reminded me of something I once knew, but have since forgotten. My body is the temple of God. I have to treat it that way. I am to respect it, honor it, discipline it and do whatever it takes to make sure it lasts me the entirety of my stay on earth. And I am not only to make sure that it lasts, but that it functions properly during my time here.
I fear I've fallen into the trap of being comfortable. I like my bed. I enjoy my TV shows. I spend endless hours on the internet checking email, reading blogs, etc., I like to go to coffee with friends, eat what tastes good whenever I want to eat it and be "happy" and "comfortable" as much as possible. Unfortunately, I've forgotten that in the world that God has created, discipline is the foundation for a good and productive life. Paul talks about disciplining himself and his body so that he can "run the race set before him". There are countless Proverbs regarding the merits of disciplining oneself and one's children. God's discipline is something that is to be desired. Yet we, as Americans, believe that the most important things are comfort, independence and individuality. Most of us don't value the discipline it takes to be successful inside ourselves. We value making money. We value work. We value entrepreneurship. We value the next big thing. But do we value the internal strength of character that comes from our own disciplining of our private lives? I dare say that most of us do not. And that's quite unfortunate.
My hope is that over the next few weeks, I will relearn some of these values God had taught me a while back. My hope is also that I will gain some balance. My hope is that I will be steady. My hope is that I will begin some habits over the next month that will stick with me for some time, maybe even the rest of my life.
In preparation for this blog, as well as my own personal encouragement, I looked up some quotes by runners, for runners. I hope that they will encourage you as they have me this morning.
"Now if you are going to win any battle you have to do one thing. You have to make the mind run the body. Never let the body tell the mind what to do. The body will always give up. It is always tired morning, noon, and night. But the body is never tired if the mind is not tired. When you were younger the mind could make you dance all night, and the body was never tired...You've always got to make the mind take over and keep going."
- George S. Patton, U.S. Army General and 1912 Olympian
"Believe in yourself, know yourself, deny yourself, and be humble."
- John Treacy's four principles of training prior to Los Angeles 84
"In a country where only men are encouraged, one must be one's own inspiration."
- Tegla Loroupe, Kenya, 1994 New York City Marathon champion
"The body does not want you to do this. As you run, it tells you to stop but the mind must be strong. You always go too far for your body. You must handle the pain with strategy...It is not age; it is not diet. It is the will to succeed."
- Jacqueline Gareau, 1980 Boston Marathon champ
"Run hard, be strong, think big!"
- Percy Cerutty