This morning I did something I've never done before. And I'm a little proud of it. But let me back up...
When my husband and I had been married for almost 4 years, he realized, with an uproarious amount of laughter, that he had never, until one fateful Cell Group social, seen me run. Not even a scamper as a jay-walker. Not even a trot to answer a ringing phone. So when he saw me, at that Cell Group Social while we were playing stupid soccer-baseball, run to first base, he laughed like a man who had never laughed in all his days. As if he had only just in that moment learned the art of the guffah. He may have even shed some tears in that moment.
It's a good thing he's cute :-)
And I recall on 9-11, and in the multitude of talk-show interviews afterward, hearing women who were out-of-shape and overweight confessing that the jumpstart for their new, healthy lifestyle was the realization that, had they been trapped on an upper level floor trying to race down a stairwell or had they been down on the street trying to outrun a cloud of rubble, they would not have been able to.
I get that.
And then I think about the what if of being chased by a villian. Could I get away? Could I actually run away from the armed maniac?
Plus, I'd like to get somewhere near the weight I was when I first started having kids back in the 2nd Millenium.
And so I was walking. I really love walking. And I'm a quick walker. I like to say I walk like I'm being chased. The trick comes when I read things about the best way to boost your metabolism and kick into "high fat-burning mode" is to work some interval bursts in to your walk. Sadly, I came to realize that the only way for me to walk faster was to *cough* jog.
I do not like jogging. I have not liked jogging since the beginning of my wee existence. Any excuse available for avoiding gym class has been utilized by yours truly. Run around the block for gym? Sorry, not gonna happen. Forced to do track and field? Yup. I'll take the 100m dash because I'll be done in 14 seconds, and even *I* can run for 14 seconds without collapsing into a heap.
My childhood activity level consisted of jumping up to get a snack before starting my next chapter of my book.
And so, I stand on my street looking at my happy little 2.7Km walking route realizing that I should jog a couple stretches of it.
Next thing you know, I'm actually doing it. Left, right, left, right. Imagining people being awakened from their slumber by the sound of laboured breathing and heavy foot-falls outside their bedroom windows. I found 100m to still be doable. Walk 500m, jog 100m. Walk 500m, jog 100m. Piece of cake.
Mind you the walking bit became really ugly. My 'recovery time' after the jog part was not so good, and I quickly looked like a woman in end-stage disease mode rather than 'being chased' mode. But I digress.
Slowly but surely I jogged more and walked less. And my friends were cheering me on. And encouraging me to go farther. And even (*gasp*) to consider signing up for a 5km run on New Year's Eve.
Sorry. Not this cowboy.
But then my pastor had the nerve to be doing a really great sermon series on being as bold as a lion, and about not being a slave to the sins that so easily tangle us. Rats. That's yelling right at my weaknesses. I'm a chicken. Like, really really chicken. As in, chicken enough to be the mascot for KFC. (Or Chik-Fil-A because it's holier.) Particularly about what people think about me. Which leads me to run at 5:00am when no one can see me.
I'm also lazy. Like so lazy that I could just stop typing now instead of finishing this blog and leave you all in a cliff hanger!
Anyhow, this sermon series is really getting to me. I want to be free of my fleshly desires (read: sleep and potato chips) so I am learning that freedom means saying no to myself a whole lot more often than I like.
Does jogging make me holy? No, but it sure is teaching me discipline in one area that is spilling over into other areas.
And so this morning, for the first time, I ran my whole route, the whole 2.7km route without walking at all. And really without even hating it totally. And certainly without puking. Or dying. No death over here today.
Now here is the irony. I'm pretty sure that as I was running my 2.7Km (heavy on the "Point") that I have at least one friend who may very well have been running 27Km (notice the lack of a "Point"...pun not intended). And yet, even with my meager little beginnings, I know that same long distance bunch of people I adore are celebrating with me like I won a Gold medal.
I love them.
Also of note is that I'm not very fast. I mean, if the armed maniac really was behind me, he could totally catch me. Likely even if he was walking. Or on a pogo-stick.
But still I am doing it! One giant leap for Barbara! And I *have* signed up for the 5Km run on New Year's Eve. And I actually want to do it now for more than just the nifty jacket you get for registering. (Though, I'd be lying if I said it wasn't a really great motivating factor...)
There is a part two to this story. However, because I respect you, my humble, loyal reader, I will cut my self off now in this marathon of a post and tell you the other side of this story another day.
(Aren't you completely intrigued by the suspense of it all?) :-)