Ask an accomplished and/or experienced runner about "why" they run and you'll likely get experiences that are much less about the physical than the emotional or spiritual. They will describe being in the zone, or use terms like flow or floating, excitement, adventure, and challenge. They will describe benefits such as strength of character, patience, joy, harmony, peace or tranquility. Oh, of course there are myriad physical benefits, but so often those are secondary.
Ask the same of the new runner and the motivation is usually focused on the physical - weight loss, management of things like diabetes or heart disease. The new runner will also fixate on the struggles of breathlessness, blisters, shin splints, stuff that jiggles and areas that rub.
Running is hard. The results are priceless. Sometimes it takes a while to travel from the first experience to the latter. But it is oh so worth it.
It's no secret that the world wants what the experienced runner has found. The world does not want, however, to deal with such things as time management, sacrifice and discipline, blisters, or jiggles and chafing. The world looks for an easier route.
The way I see it, God created this world for our enjoyment. Our bodies are fearfully and wonderfully designed to experience its sights, sounds, smells, tastes and textures. The plan was simple (but not easy). The execution (by selfish man) has been poor - seeking instant gratification, pleasure without accountability, and a pill or other such answer when things go wrong. Perhaps it's time for a change?
Training for an Ultra Marathon has reminded me that running is hard. However, the benefits so vastly outweigh the struggle. Time on the run, whether on road or trail, makes me feel alive and puts all of life's challenges into perspective. Running alone or with friends, and of course with my Lord all leave indelible memories. Overcoming fears and doubts or previously perceived limits leaves me with a new level of physical strength and quiet confidence.
If only I could bottle that and sell it!
But alas, I cannot. Nobody can. What I can do is promise that you can indeed share in this, and it's simple (but not easy). What do you say? As Dave Ramsey likes to say about managing your finances I will say about this topic - Live today like nobody else, so tomorrow you can live like nobody else.
Ready...Set... Get up friends. Get out. Get moving. Face your fears. Live your dreams.