Sunday, April 24, 2011

Sharing the Joy

In November my son completed his first running event and I couldn't have been more proud. He didn't come in first, or even 20th, but won.  He won because he loved every minute of it. He's four years old and is so proud of his "shiny gold medal."

In a week I am running the world famous Broad Street Run in beautiful Philadelphia, the nation's largest 10 mile race.  40,000 people and I will be running, walking and wheeling down Broad Street.  This is the longest I have ever run, farthest I have yet to run.  So far I've only made it about 8.3 miles in 93 minutes on a training run.  But I know I'll finish all ten miles.  To me that's winning.

Running is about so much more than race medals and times.  It's about willing yourself to keep going, to push through the boredom, pain, disappointment, and discomfort to get to the beauty, the joy, the pride.  It really is the best training for a courageous and enjoyed life.  I am so happy to share this secret with my sons.

I am grateful that my partner also is a runner, because he gets why I need to have those hours to myself outside on the trail or on the road.  It's my church, my meditation.  It is my spiritual practice as much as my fitness regimen. I don't love running.  I need running. 

If my boys grow up and don't take to running, that's ok.  As long as they find that one thing that takes them out of their mind, that challenges their bodies and spirits.  The activity or pursuit that pushes them past their imagined boundaries and makes them stronger and more courageous with every step, stroke or pedal.  We all need that kind of exercise.  Soul fitness is essential.

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Thanks for sharing your thoughts.