On Saturday, I received this little beauty in the mail:
A GARMIN! Don’t worry: I’m the last one to call myself an honest-to-goodness runner (yet…!). However, as I was doing my third day of Couch-to-5k last week (more on this later), I noticed that I was going at a 7min/mi pace, which is NOT ideal for a beginner runner, and certainly not for me! So I decided to invest in a training tool that will help me keep my pace a steady, manageable (and super slow) level so I can avoid injury at all costs! I love gadgets, and this one seemed like a wise investment that could grow with my abilities. It even has a walk/run feature–see? Perfect!
Sunday morning I was feeling really weighty. I felt something pressing down on my heart, but couldn’t figure out what it was, so I decided to go for a run. I ditched my Couch-to-5k app on my phone for the peace and quiet of running down by the Charles River so I could let my brain do some communicating with my heart, and just ran with abandon.
Let me digress: In January when I returned to campus after the holidays, I was feeling really, really good, so I decided to start the Couch-to-5k running app and see how far I got. Real talk? I was inspired by the Biggest Loser. Anyhow, I didn’t sign up for a 5k that go-round, and I stopped two weeks in because I didn’t have a tangible goal. This time, I’m signed up for my very first 5k (!) on June 22nd, and I’m determined to make it through! This will be my second week back on the program, and everything is going smoothly! I can’t wait to share how I’ve been recovering from each run (hint: lots and lots of self-care).
What happened when I let go and let my mind turn upwards to God? I ran 4 whole minutes without stopping! I couldn’t believe it. I walked for 3 minutes, then repeated the cycle twice more for a 21-minute workout, minus warmup and cool down.
You know something? I don’t care how unimaginative this is, but the verse I always, always turn to when I don’t think I can make it through something is Philippians 4:13: “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” As a child, we used to play the Hide ‘Em in Your Heart series in the car, and the song that runs through my head most often is the one set to this verse. So today, I ran to the beat of the verse, and for the first time ever, I prayed while running. It felt so organic, so freeing, so beautiful.
I have a sin issue I am working through: pride. I am perpetually afraid of what other people will think about me, and it has been holding me back from so many things. In particular, it has affected my spiritual life. I have always searched for “the right way” to pray, the tactful, cheery, put-together way to pray because I don’t want to be messy, even in my conversations with God.
Well guess what? I am messy. I am not put together. I am a soul in need of guidance and truth, and that is what was on my heart this morning before I set out on my run. So really, God was helping me run toward humility: “When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom.” (Proverbs 11:2). And so tonight I’m continuing that prayer, asking that God for wisdom and thanking Him for His grace.
So even with all the self-trackers in the world, I still need to remember to follow Jesus, the Self-Tracker in my heart.