Sunday, August 16, 2009

Running, Not Running, Running

The summer is always difficult for me (Brett) to get in plenty of running because my job randomly takes me out of town with anywhere from 12-109 of my closest high school friends. Being a student minister has a lot of advantages and I enjoy the mess out of it, but trying to run when you are responsible for other people's children can be difficult to say the least (you cannot really just leave them by themselves and hope for the best - it's pretty much the opposite). So the only real option lies when they are still lying in bed asleep and of course on trips like these wake up time is usually pretty early - so it's rise before everyone else and get a run in or catch up on sleep so you can still drive the van without getting anyone killed.

It's a sticky situation and I usually compromise with one or two early morning runs. The funny part is that I usually notice two things when I manage to get one of these rare runs into the schedule: 1. Running is one of the best ways to see new places. 2. Running is one of the best ways to see new places.

Though these reasons seem the same, they are actually different. The first simply means what it says in that there is no better way to become acquainted with a new town then in going out for a run through it. Sometimes you get lost but you most definitely see a different version of it then when you drive through - I promise, it will change your life and your trip if you run through new places on vacation (you never know what experience you will have). The second reason is like the first but it means this - if I do not get a run in (especially over a few days) the way in which I see the new locale is going to vary much differently than if I get in some running. A light early morning run actually helps my mind and body to be much more focused throughout the day and I enjoy myself so much more than when I opt for another 30 minutes of sleep. Bryan calls this phenomenon his running demons, but for me it's just simple biology - my body feels sluggish if I miss my run, while on the contrary my body can last longer and feels ready to do more. (the above picture is from our New Orleans Katrina clean up trip this summer)

I know these things to be true and yet I still choose to sleep in on these trips under some false pretense that I will have more energy if I sleep. I fall victim to long bus rides or excuses that seem noble (like protecting children), but in all honesty I will most likely do better as a person (and therefore protect kids better) if I get an early morning run in before the day starts. Strange but true. How much of our life is this way? How often do we allow ourselves to be convinced, for whatever reason, to give up what our lives could be for something less? When will we wake up and start getting our runs in so we can really get our lives in? Anybody?

Maybe I just need a better alarm clock!