IMG_2166There is a name I can now call myself – it is something I could not say a year ago. Runner. I AM A RUNNER.

A little bit of background: I hurt my back in college – fell about 20 feet from one of those cherry picker lifts during a football game. Ever since then, I have suffered flare-ups with my lower back – the pain can sometimes be so bad, it would hurt to move, let alone walk. Every doctor I have seen over the years has told me running is bad for my back.

I was at the gym one day last year and decided to get on the treadmill, just to see how it felt. I had lost about 30 pounds at that point. I ran/walked a slow mile. No pain. It felt pretty good, actually. So I talked to a doctor/friend who specializes in spinal injuries, and he advised me to go slowly – if I had any pain, stop immediately. He also gave me worst case scenarios – the ‘old’ me would have heard those and decided running was a bad idea.

I took my friend’s advice and spent about a month working up to 30 minutes of jogging. I then signed up for my first 5k. I completed that 5k in just under 30 minutes. I ended up running three races last year – another 5k and an 8k. I am now training for my first 10k. I never thought I would be part of the running community.

I still have a bad back. But I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me (Philippians 4:13). I am grateful to God for giving me the ability to run right now, and I hope I can continue to run for many years. Running has given me a new perspective on the life God calls me to live:

“…Let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.” – Hebrews 12:1-2

“Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it. Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. So I do not run aimlessly; I do not box as one beating the air. But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified.” – 1 Corinthians 9:25-27

 

 
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