Tuesday, June 17, 2014

The Visitation and My Healthy

Since the last time I wrote I have had two VERY different 7.5 mile runs.  On Monday, a slow and steady 7.5 miles around the north side of the city and Towson.  Keeping the legs moving.  Today, 7.5 miles that included a 400, 800, 1200, 1600 and back down again (only one 1600) ladder with the pace around 1:45/lap the whole time.  Good pacing.  Good friends.  Crazy hot and humid weather.  Soaked even running shirtless.

Where do the 15 miles leave me?  At 959.7.  For the first time in many weeks, I am just under an average of 40 miles per week.  Still, I have nothing to complain about.  I managed to continue to keep myself within range of 40 miles per week despite my crazy digestive week.  Where does that put me on my virtual pilgrimage?  On Missouri Route 42 (still) in Meta, MO.  Yesterday I would have been in Vienna, MO, where the Catholic church is Visitation parish.

When I think of the Visitation (when Mary went to visit her much older cousin Elizabeth and John the Baptist--with whom Elizabeth was pregnant--jumped in her uterus when he recognized the presence of Jesus in Mary) I think of several things: togetherness, family, recognizing the grace in others.  

And just today I discovered a new runner blog called On Fire Fitness Healthy Living (http://www.onfirefitnesspt.com/) where the author posed the question "What does your healthy look like?"  
So, I am going to take on the question of what my healthy looks like thinking of togetherness, family, and recognizing the grace in others.  As well as my general conception of what I do for my own health as part of what Mary did was for her own well being after her pregnancy with Jesus was announced by the angels.  

In any case, here are some things that are part of my healthy:

(1) Running--not always as far as I can or as far as I can, but running so I can run again tomorrow.  That has more to do with running smart than with running fast or far.  Some days call for fast.  Some days call for far.  But it is never necessarily the maximum speed or distance.  That is seeking serenity and balance given what God has given me.  And sharing that serenity and balance with others when I achieve it.  I learned in preparing for my assault on the 19 minute 5K that the running I love is the day to day goal setting.  On race day--whatever happens will happen.  But every day leading up to race day I have control over whether I make goal.  And that is a sense of balance that I must achieve and share.  

(2) Being around other runners, or at least others who care about their fitness.  An important part of togetherness.  This also includes a recognition of what others have going on that is special and what they can bring into my life.  

(3) Talking with others about fitness--this can include exercise and diet. Again, an expression of togetherness and a recognition of what those others can bring into my life.

(4) Talking with my family--especially my wife.  This is family.  Eating together.  Talking together.  Not always exercising together.  Although I have found myself teaming up with and advising young women for whom I have served at least a partial father figure role.

(5) Eating well--but not necessarily perfectly.  I don't have to count every calorie.  I can have fun with what I eat.  But if I love to make it and I make it by hand I will appreciate it a lot more.  I will talk bout it.  I will share it.  And all that contributes to an experience of goodness through food.

(6) Clearing my mind.  This comes with running for me.  It is letting go of all the ill.  It is preparing to share the grace of God that I have been blessed with.  It is hard to share grace when I am distracted by things that are not good for me and for those around me.

(7) Spending time with family--because they are part of the world with which God has blessed me. 

(8) Recognizing that family is not always blood--family is those I break bread with. Family is those I run with.  Family is those I share ideas with.

(9) Reminding myself that I am not God.  I am not in control of everything.  I am not omnipotent.  I am a finite, mortal, individual. 

To me this is healthy.  A physical health based on good exercise and good food--things that God has blessed me with enjoying and with having.  A mental health based on the ability to clear my mind.  A social health in recognizing the importance of others and spending time with others in productive and healthy ways.  And a spiritual health that recognizes my smallness in the universe but my connectedness in the universe.  The opportunity to have a big impact on some.  The need to find my place.  

Part of Mary's travels was to share grace with Elizabeth.  But as I read Luke's Gospel it seems that Mary was also spending time on this trip finding herself.  I will not compare Mary's journey on the visitation to my life in any way, shape or form.  But I will say that in my running and my definition of healthy and my search in life, I find grace, I find family, I find togetherness, and I find focus that Mary must have had and felt on her journey.  Eternal life's lessons in the stories of the noble in the Bible.  


  1. I needed to read this. Thank you for keeping the inspiration going.

  2. I'm glad you enjoyed it. I really do struggle with what running means and with what healthy means and can too much running be unhealthy? I'm glad to know that this struggle--this figuring out--means something to others as well :)