What do you do when your summer is coming to a close, you still haven’t lost that extra weight, and your soul is yearning to just run away? DO IT! Run away, Run for God!
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28
Recently, I was feeling a bit overwhelmed and restless. After listening to several friends tell of their vacations, I decided to look for a weekend getaway in Tennessee, the place where I spent carefree summers as a child. Back where Southern hospitality is as sweet as the tea they serve. Where red dirt dusts your feet and fresh streams wash them clean.
While researching events for Faithful Fitness Fellowship, I happened to see a new race, The Pinky 5K. An all women, evening walk/run, sponsored by Run for God, in Chattanooga, TN. A quick check of the calendar, recruiting a friend to join me, and the trip was a go! (Thanks Masja!)
Packet pick up was scheduled for 6pm Friday August 23rd at Tennessee River Park, so as soon as the kids were off to school, we loaded up and headed for the hills, literally. If you have never been to the Great Smoky Mountains might I suggest pinning it to your “Places to See” board! This majestic area is, in my opinion, some of the most beautiful land God ever created.
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Genesis 1:1
Singing to an 80s movie music montage, navigating through a downpour in Nashville, and narrowly missing what appeared to be a live Georgia bulldog standing in the middle of the interstate, we arrived at the hotel with just enough time to lace up our running shoes and check in for the race.
The storm caught up with us, and we spent the rain delay crouched under the Dupont Parkway Bridge watching the lightning show and the majestic Southern Belle cruising slowly by on the Tennessee River.
My goal for the event was to finish with a 15 min/mile average time. After a high 5 from Pinky, we were off and running. Most of the course was on a concrete walkway, meandering through the park and beside the river. Solid footing was a blessing for the rolling hills and semi-darkened pathway. Masja kept me motivated and encouraged me to keep running. Exhausted and sweaty, a mere 40 minutes and 31 seconds later we crossed the finish line. 13 min/miles! That, my friends, is a PR! (“Personal Record” for you non-runners out there.)
Do you see what this means—all these pioneers who blazed the way, all these veterans cheering us on? It means we’d better get on with it. Strip down, start running—and never quit! No extra spiritual fat, no parasitic sins. Keep your eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished this race we’re in. Study how he did it. Because he never lost sight of where he was headed—that exhilarating finish in and with God—he could put up with anything along the way: Cross, shame, whatever. And now he’s there, in the place of honor, right alongside God. When you find yourselves flagging in your faith, go over that story again, item by item, that long litany of hostility he plowed through. That will shoot adrenaline into your souls! Hebrews 12:1-3 (MSG)
So what do two 40-somethings do to celebrate a great race? Head to Wal-Mart to gear up for a morning white water rafting trip, of course! More on that adventure in my next post!