This morning I was out at 5am for a 6 mile run. It was around 7°F but little wind. I had my SnowTrax on and pretty much stuck to running on the streets because the sidewalks hadn't really been cleared of the weekend snow. This morning I decided to set my running goal to beat my time from a week ago, and I did.
Some people would look at the conditions, and that picture, and think that this guy is crazy. You might think that I must love running to some crazy degree that is reserved for some elite group of runners. You'd be surprised to understand that I'm NOT a morning person. Just ask my wife or my kids as I can be kind of grumpy in the mornings. When I was growing up someone had given me a button that had a bear with a cup of coffee with the phrase “I'm not a morning person, so bear with me.” and that has pretty much been my M.O. for years. You can ask my close friend Chad Fischer how I was in the mornings when we served together at Inspiration Point Christian Camp & Retreat Center as counselors in college.
What motivates me? There are a few things. The first thing is that just over 2 years ago I weighed 270 pounds and was at risk for prediabetes. My wife and I began a lifestyle change and for me that included walking, which turned into running after shedding some pounds. I don't want the health risks and I want to be active with my kids, I want to live to see my kids futures.
The second thing that keeps me running is that last year I followed in my wife's footsteps and joined with the Hope Water International Daybreak team to help bring water to the people in Sierra Leone Africa by raising support for the installation of wells. And this is something I want to continue to be apart of. Actually, I'm planning on making a trip to Sierra Leone this May. I'm excited about the opportunity, and trusting that the support will come in to get me there.
The third reason is that the time that I get out there in the morning is a time where I can get alone with God. I'll be honest that my running time is not always focused on prayer or actively engaging with God except that it is one time where I really am able to just stop and listen. I'm listening to my body and I'm listening for God's promptings and direction. There's really nothing more to it than me the road and God.
The last reason I do it is, well…OK, I am a little crazy and I actually enjoy it. I enjoy the crisp morning air, and the occasional snow fall. And it hands down beats a treadmill any day. Running is something that really doesn't take a huge amount of preparation to do so it's easy for me to just get out there and hit the pavement.
So to those I know that may say that they can't run or don't have the time. To you I say then walk, don't run, running isn't for everyone. Even more if you do run a little it doesn't mean you are signing up for a marathon, like some of us crazy people. As for not having the time that is all about priorities and finding something doable, something that works for you. If you can carve out simply 15 minutes at some point in your day you will begin to make some progress. Sure the experts might say what you should do but don't let your inability to follow the experts recommendations be an excuse to do nothing.