Faith and Fitness with Marsha Apsley

Faith Focused Fitness Inspiration and Motivation

Where Running and Life Intersect

I’ve been a runner for over over 25 years.  It’s a huge part of my life. So when I started having knee pain a couple summers ago to the point that I couldn’t run, it was devastating.  At first I thought I had torn something and when I realized I had not, I was thrilled.

running and life

But then I got what was likely worse news and that was when the doctor looked at me and simply said “You have bad knees”. He went on to say that I was too young (early 40s) for my knees to look the way that they did but it was my reality.  Arthritis. Minimal cartilage. He then told me I would have to learn to “manage” them.

This was the guy giving me my second opinion.  The first doctor wanted me to hang up my running shoes altogether.  

Ummm…I don’t think so.  You don’t tell someone who has run over 50 half marathons and more than a dozen full marathons that her running days are finished.  

That’s the reason for the second opinion and thankful to be told I’d just have to “manage” them…whatever that means.  In fact, I’m still learning that as I go.

But here’s the thing.  Running and fitness are a huge part of my life.  

Running means so much to me.

My runs, bike rides and workouts are my holy ground.  They are the times when I pray and when I open my mind and my heart to hear what Jesus wants to teach me.

This running thing is more than just the calories I burn or the finish lines I cross. #runningandlife #iamarunner #faithandfitness Click To Tweet 

It’s about the lessons I learn while doing these things.

“Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”  Hebrews 12:1-2

And I would suggest to you that your life, whether you run or workout, is also like a running race.  

If you’re living and breathing, you’re in this race called life.  Maybe it’s not all you thought you signed up for, but you’re here (and I’m glad you are!).

So many people sign up to run a race.  And even those folks who voluntarily sign up, show up race day and aren’t always thrilled they are there.  But they show up nonetheless.

Find out how your life is like a running race. #runningandlife #lifelessons #runmyrace Click To Tweet

Once the starting command is given, everyone takes off.  But not everyone goes at the same pace.

So it is in life.  We’re all in this race but we’re not all going at the same pace.

I’ve run in many races.  So many that I’ve lost count.  But because of all of those races, I’ve learned a few things.

Go at your pace.

I’ve tried to run other paces but it just doesn’t work.  If you’ve ever run a race and started out too fast, you know what I mean.  It eventually catches up with you. On the flip side, I remember a time during a training run some younger guy said, “No offense, but it hurts to run too slow.”   So AFTER I got over being offended (lol!), I have to admit there have been times that I can totally understand what he was saying. When I tried to run a bit slower than was my ‘normal’ pace, it bothered my knee.  

It just messes with your stride when you try to run at a pace that is not YOUR pace.  

Stay in your lane.

If you watch a race from the sidelines it may appear that it’s a big mass of chaos, and it kind of is in some ways.  But people rarely fall and trip over each other. Why? We stay in our lane. Whatever that path is. Sometimes it’s an organized zigzag.  Other times it’s actually a straight line. But we’re blazing a trail and staying in the lane created for us.

Fuel for the race you’re running.

Whether it’s water or gels or carb-loading the night before, we have to fuel properly for running.  The race and distance determines much of what we choose. Sometimes it takes trial and error to find the right combination.  And in life, we need fuel to live. We need to fill our lives with the power we get through prayer and time in the Bible.

Training plan.

I like to have a training plan.  Even if it’s a plan of what I will do each week or something bigger to get me ready to toe the line for a big race.  We need a plan for our lives. We need guidance and direction. That can be found when we study God’s word.

To be sure, our spiritual fitness is of utmost importance.  

“For bodily exercise profits a little, but godliness is profitable for all things, having promise of the life that now is and of that which is to come.” 1 Timothy 4:8

This is why my morning time is sacred.  I first begin with some quiet time, Bible reading, prayer.  Jesus deserves to be first in my life. But to be able to go and do all the things He’s called us to, we need to be healthy.  We need to be the best versions of ourselves, and honoring our bodies is a way to do that.

When we honor our bodies by moving regularly and fueling properly, we are honoring God. #mybodyisatemple #faithandfitness Click To Tweet

We are positioning ourselves to be ready for the call.

We’ll have the energy and the stamina to serve those He brings into our lives.  

For me it’s running, but you don’t have to be a runner.  Just get moving.

“for in Him we live and move and have our being,” Acts 17:28

Running and life…I’m thankful for the lessons and the miles…and for more to come. 

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