People, including my husband, often ask me why I love to run? Why would you want to go out and see if you are ready to tackle a marathon by running a half marathon in one evening? Who does that? What are you trying to prove? Who are you running for or from? My answer?
It’s who I am. It has turned out to be one of my primary ways to feel God’s presence in my life. It brings me a deep sense of peace and well-being, makes me feel connected to the outdoors and to other people. It has become my way of really praying to God, feeling His hand in my life, and worshiping Him and His creation. Running is my way of offering gratitude for the world and for my own body, my life, and the life of my children. It is also my way of crying out to God, and my way of pushing through perseverance and standing firm in faith that God’s strength will get me through even the toughest of trials. Suddenly, I am someone who finds pleasure in working hard, in the drip of sweat as it cascaded over my face and down my elbows to my fingertips.
Some people talk about a “runner’s high” that they only get sometimes, but what I crave I get every time. It happens when I’m running on the beach or on the mountaintop viewing the most gorgeous scenery that is available in West Virginia and North Carolina. When I run, I can’t help but feel every step, every jolt, every pain and that is a glorious thing. It’s not pleasure, but a sense of being alive.
Running makes me pay more attention to what was already going on around me in the first place. I won’t say that it feels like time stops because it doesn’t. But it feels like time runs differently. It feels like the rest of the world fades away. It feels like my responsibilities slough off of me, like I become just me, instead of mom, writer, social marketer, teacher, and so on. I feel like this is seeing myself the way that God must see me, just me in my naked state. And yes, it is scary to see myself that way, with all my flaws and scars and the way that you hit a certain point during the marathon and realize that you are nothing, that you may not be able to take another step. It feels real to me.
Running is where I feel God because running is where I find myself. When I run, I feel joyful because I welcome the pain and grit my teeth and accept what is to come instead of trying to think my way out of it. And when I see my husband standing at the finish line smiling and clapping, I know that we are all on Gods great dance floor worshipping together in His name. I Run for God! #faithfultrainer