Becoming a Runner
After a six-week break, my first day running was pretty discouraging — high heart rate, low endurance, slow pace, sore legs — but I discovered, for the first time, that I am a runner.
This might sound somewhat strange, coming from someone who ran a marathon and who runs 25 miles a week, but recall that I only started running in 2002. For almost 45 years, I was a couch potato.
When I first started running, I trained with runners. Then I trained alone, and I trained as runners train. After almost ten years, I was running better and faster and harder, almost as if I were a runner, myself.
Now, seeing that I enjoy running and that I miss running when I am unable to run, I realize that I am a runner, not just someone who trains with runners or trains like a runner.
Also, I realized how much reflecting I do when I am running: I probably could not blog, if I did not run, and it struck me that I became a spiritual person, in the same incremental way that I became a runner.
When I first started reflecting, I read a lot of history and theology, mostly Christian history and theology. Then, I read a lot of history and theology from other traditions, to place Christianity in a broad context, and I read a lot of mysticism and mythology, to understand the meaning of Christianity and other religions.
After years of long runs and short sprints in the spiritual realm, I realize that I am a spiritual person, not just someone who reads about spirituality or thinks about spirituality, and that my spirituality colors many of my actions and my thoughts, for better or worse.