Trust me. I keep asking myself that too. Yet I signed up to run the Chicago Marathon on October 7th.
Why put myself through that?!?!
Good question. I’ve had qualms about marathons for a long time. Besides that there is no logical reason to run 26 miles at one time and I always thought people were weird and/or crazy for doing it (wait, actually I still do), I had some serious reservations about whether it was actually a good idea to run one-spiritually, physically, logistically, you name it. And as I say that, I mean no judgment for those who do run them. I’m just being honest as an outsider-looking-in… who now seeks to be an insider. [I actually started this post a long time ago. On Feb 7th actually, the day after I signed up for the marathon. I’m glad I had this paragraph still here, because as someone who is more of an ‘insider’ now, it’s cool to see where I was].
Anyway, back to my qualms.
The main one: TIME. I wondered whether I could justify the time commitment. Training for a marathon takes a lot of time-intentional time, effort, and energy, among other things. How could i justify that time when it could also be spent in service? In prayer? Reading ? With friends? I felt flat out guilty for how much time it would consume. (I had yet to really consider the money it would eventually consume…. and that I would feel guilty about).
BUT! That’s not the end. Guilt didn’t win. Praise the Lord!
I decided that while yes, training for a marathon does take intentional time, that could be a good thing! I desire to be intentional with my time in all areas of my life, but intentionality takes practice and discipline. And discipline is not one of my strong suits. I decided that learning to be more disciplined with exercise and sports–which is always the first thing to go when I get busy–could be a good transferable skill to have, so that I could actually have more time to spend on things that matter, because I would be wasting less time. I am specifically seeking for my discipline with running to inform and encourage my spiritual life.
So far, I’m amazed at how much I’m learning about discipline. About setting a goal and working towards it. About intentional time for the important things in life. About time management. About living all of life with purpose. And I’m constantly attempting to apply those lessons I’m learning to other areas of my life. I also love to find ways in which running is analogous to life. It’s a new, favorite past time you could say;)
So, I’m sure that you’ll hear more about my running in the weeks and months to come. Probably more than you want to But I do want to mention that most importantly, I’m running for a cause bigger than myself. I’m running for Catholic Charities of Chicago, an organization that serves over 1 million people per year. More on this to come soon, but for now, check out my fundraising page to see what they’re all about!
And oh yeah! About the actual running part, I’m loving it 🙂