Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Another Day Pondering Franciscan Versus Augustinian Running

Today, I plan to do a tempo workout on the track.  For my non-running friends, a tempo workout is where I try to maintain over several miles (this morning it will be 6.25 miles--or 25 time around a local high school track) a pace at which I won't be carrying on a conversation.  In fact, the pace will be faster than I ran the one 10K (6.2 miles so 0.05 miles shorter) I ran this spring.  It is in an effort to get ready for a half marathon race in two months.

This type of workout I suppose should at least be easier than a similar distance on a treadmill, although at the Y they at least have treadmills with individual TV screens.  Where at the track all I will have to look at is the track in the relative darkness.  Some I know who have done similar workouts talk about how this type of workout is as much mental as it is physical.

On the mental side, there will be many temptations to just let my mind wander--to be Augustinian.  Imagining.  Thinking ahead.  Just letting my mind ponder everything other than what I'm supposed to be doing.  To wonder rather than to notice.

What I need is a very Franciscan run.  In the moment.  Taking notice of everything as I go along.  And taking notice just for the sake of taking notice.  Taking notice so that I can ponder later.  Keeping track of what I feel.  Keeping track of my breathing.  Keeping track of my time.  Just taking it all in.  

In my prayer life, my approach, as I have mentioned before, tends to be much more Augustinian.  So, today will be a physical test--can I run 6.25 miles in less than 43:45? Today will be a mental test--can I concentrate on just one thing for 43:45.  The mental test will hopefully translate into something spiritual and something work-related.  That is an interesting juxtaposition.  But I am almost always multi-tasking.  And sometimes it is a challenge for me to spend 43:45 on just about anything.  Maybe I should just take 43:45 and meditate over something related to my religion.  Maybe I should break my day into 43:45 segments and just concentrate on one thing for that amount of time.  Always ready to move onto the next item of business, but focusing on just one thing at a time.

With my tattoo of St. Sebastian, I have been inspired to look up prayers that focus on St. Sebastian.  One I found in multiple places is below:
Dear Commander at the Roman Emperor's court, you chose to be a soldier of Christ and dared to spread faith in the King of Kings---for which you were condemned to die. Your body, however, proved athletically strong and the executing arrows extremely weak. So another means to kill you was chosen and you gave your life to the Lord. May athletes be always as strong in their faith as their Patron Saint so clearly has been. Amen.
I would add to that "May I concentrate on my faith as much as my Patron Saint has been strong in his faith and as much as my Patron Saint's body was strong."  This is an interesting prayer of intercession.  It is, in part, asking for the Patron saint's intercession by addressing him.  I know there is much controversy over whether saints can intercede for people.  If we place that issue aside, this is much more a prayer of asking God to help me be like a saint whose life story I admire.

We'll see how I do.

1 comment:

  1. As an aside, I copied the prayer from a site that features the image of St. Sebastian that appears (albeit dressed in 20th century clothing) in my tattoo: