16 January 2010

It's been a while

I ran for the first time in quite a while today.  There were several reasons for taking a break from running and several reasons why today was the day I started again.  I haven't run in a while because first, we got hammered by snow over Christmas.  Then, we were out of town to see family at the end of December.  Then, when we returned home, we found Minnesota had remembered that it was supposed to be cold during the winter.  The short days with sub-zero temperatures were not good for my overall morale, and not being able to run outside really started to get to me.  Then, when the weather finally started to warm up, I went and dropped a table on my left foot.  I thought maybe I'd broken my big toe at first, but thankfully it was only bruised.  It's still very black and blue, but the pain is gone.

So, with the weather improved and my toe on the mend, it meant that I was finally able to get back out and run a bit today.  I didn't push too far, only going about 3 miles.  I'm glad I didn't go farther as my feet and calves are a bit sore this evening.  It looks like warm(er) weather is supposed to be around for a while, so hopefully I can get back into shape.  It's amazing how quickly the muscles in your feet lose strength when you don't exercise them!

So there were many reasons why I was thankful to be able to run again today, but perhaps the biggest was because I really needed to do it to help grieve the loss of a good friend from seminary who was killed in the earthquake in Haiti.  I know running may seem like a strange way to mourn to some people, but it will make sense to you if you're a runner.  After hearing the news, my wife (who is nearly 8 months pregnant) said this was the first time in a long time she felt like she really needed to run, but couldn't.  I suppose some people run just for the exercise, but those who truly love to run understand that it fills a lot more needs in our lives than simply burning calories and getting an aerobic workout.

So this morning, as I ran through the foggy and frosty Minnesota prairie, I prayed for Ben, his wife Renee, his cousin Jon, and all their family and friends who have been devastated by the news of Ben's death, and I prayed for all the other people whose lives have been torn apart by this horrendous tragedy.  I came back feeling drained in nearly every possible way, but still trusting that God will fill us again.