Tuesday, December 17, 2013

The Spirituality of Advent, Day 3, Week 3

Today's workout on the treadmill at the hotel in London was another 6.2 miles at an 8 min/mile pace.  Nice and easy for me.  I realized once again last nice when speaking with a colleague from the Vision Impact Institute that what is easy for me is not necessarily easy for everyone else.  I have to remember that 8 minutes per mile is about 5 minutes per kilometer or 12 kilometers per hour.  And I consider that just a nice, comfortable workout. My colleague was talking about running at most 10 kilometers per hour.  And she noted that she felt much more comfortable running 9 kilometers per hour.  (She thinks in kilometers per hour because she is from France.)  I told her there is nothing wrong with that.  The key is just getting out there and doing something.  She is in training for a 15 kilometer race in February.

This morning, I realized again the pure joy of running and why it is so important to me.  The sign on the fitness room said 24/7. So I went at just past 5:30.  My key card didn't open the door.  So I went to the front desk and was told that someone would have to come open it for me because it was before 6 AM.  I didn't realize that it would be considered early.  And for the entire 49:36 I was running, no one else entered the fitness room.  It is always interesting to me to see how few people use the fitness rooms at some hotels where I stay.  There is a big difference between US hotels and non-US hotels.  Much more activity in US hotels than non-US, at least in my experience.  I don't know if that means American enjoy exercise more.  Or maybe Americans do more exercise--enjoyed or forced.  It is just an observation.  And I am one of the those who really enjoy running.

So, I enjoyed my run.  If I didn't, I would not spend the time.  I would not go out of my way to get the fitness room door open.

People ask me what I do when I run on the treadmill.  Lots of mental math.  How far have I run?  How many minutes left?  How many seconds left?  How much distance left?  When will I get to the next milestone-whatever a "milestone" might be?  And I check my breathing.  And I check my stride.  And I look around.  I take in the world.  I think about what I will write.  I think about the next run.  I think about family.  I think about work.  My mind wanders.  

And most of all I thank God for the gift of running.

And I realize how my running is connected to the running of so many others today.  And so many others in the past.  And our human ancestors.  Another part of being something "bigger".  A long history of people who run.  Run to race.  At high schools.  In colleges.  In the olympics.  Run to catch dinner.  Run to be safe.  A whole history.  Survival.  Enjoyment.  



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