Freedom to run

Last night I went to the NAU sky dome to run. I didn't think much about it, I just went and began running. I ran a few laps, and then a few bleachers, then a few more laps, and a few more sets of bleachers. Over and over again.

Suddenly I realized, I was exhausted. My legs were aching. They shook violently as I walked down the stairs and felt like they were exploding with pain as I ran up.

I told myself, "Just three more."

"I can't do it!" I thought in repsonse.

Then I reminded myself how much of a mental process running is, so I told myself, "Don't think about it, just do it."

As I was running up I remembered the reason I was running in the first place. I run to keep in shape, to stay healthy, to hopefully thin out. Silly reasons, but reasons none the less. Maybe not silly, but definitely for me and nothing else. Then I thought a little deeper (yes all in the 20 seconds it took me to run up the bleachers). I remembered I am training for my race, for Ragnar.

My Ragnar team is running for a little girl, a small child who was diagnosed with leukemia. I am not sure the extent of her illness, I am not sure how limited she is. But nonetheless, her body is a fragile little thing, and she is only a child. I realized I am not just running for her, but I'm running on her behalf. I am using my physical body to do something she may never be able to do. I am pushing my body to the limit because she does the same thing every day just to stay strong enough to live a normal life. She is only a child! My physical body was blessed with the strength to be able to make it up and down those stairs. Yes it hurts, but I can do it.

I had an epiphany. We are so blessed to have funcioning bodies that move and work as they should. My body has not turned against me, it can be as strong as I am willing to push it. I run because there are others who can't. Others who long to be able to stretch their legs and move at their own pace, on their own free will. Others who would give anything to run one lap around a track. Those days when I am feeling lazy, like I just don't have the strength to run today, I want to remind myself how blessed I am to have the freedom to exercise without growing overcome with fatigue.

I can do it, and so can you! We can go outside, enjoy our beautiful surroundings. Walk to class once in a while instead of drive. Go hiking, biking. Embrace the phyical body we have been blessed with!

I found a talk by brother John S. Tanner in which he said,

"We should therefore teach our children to love their bodies, to accept them as gifts. Not that they need much instruction from adults; it is generally we who could learn from them. My toddlers, for example, often taught me about the innocent joy of the body. They loved to cavort to a song that began “I like to feel my body move …” The music invited them to run and jump and skip and hop. They often pulled me into their pure celebration of physical activity.

...My wife and I often feel a childlike joy when hiking. While climbing mountain trails, we enjoy a rich suffusion of sensory experiences. We feel our hearts pounding and muscles stretching. We touch the soft new growth on pine and fir trees and smell the spicy mountain sage and evergreen. We taste ice-cold water, tart plums, and sweet trail mix. We hear the birds and wind in the trees and gaze on glorious mountain vistas. We feel a spirit of rejoicing: “Then sings my soul, my Savior God, to thee, How great thou art! How great thou art!” Through such physical experiences, our spirits find peace and draw close to Heavenly Father and to each other."

Everyone has the joy of a physical body but not everyone has the joy of using it for all it's worth. Now when I push myself I love the feeling because I realize just how blessed I am to have the physical strength to do so.

This is my thought for the day, hope you are having a happy Wednesday.


P.S. Happy happy birthday to my darling and beautful sister Lacymae! I love you, Lake!


camilkington said...

i loved this.. i go running every day, and yesterday i had that kind of day where i felt like forrest gump and "i was running." and all of a sudden i just wanted to stop and i was thankful i could run.. so, i had this same epiphany yesterday.. i love flag and all the runner friendly areas. and running for that little girl about brought me to tears.

Jackie said...

I really love this hun! It is so true. Our bodies are such an incredible creation loaned to us by our Heavenly Father. I never really appreciated mine until it stopped working for a little while. But there must be opposition in all things and it taught me how to love feeling good. I miss you cutie!