A few years ago, I noticed that my body and my health were changing. Until that time, I could eat and do almost anything that I wanted, and it did not seem to affect by health. (It probably was affecting my health, but I didn’t notice any outward signs.)
So, when I noticed my health getting worse and my waistline expanding, I changed what I ate. That worked great for a couple of months, and I even lost alot of weight. But then I fell back into the same patterns of eating, and I regained all the weight that I had lost.
Later, I decided to try exercise. I started running, but soon had to stop because of pain in my shins. This annoyed me because I had always been able to run for exercise before. About a year later, I tried to run for exercise again. Once more, I had to stop because of shin pains.
Last summer, I went to the doctor, and he told me what I already knew: if something didn’t change in the way I was living, I was headed for a very unhealthy life that included high blood pressure, diabetes, and perhaps more.
He recommended changing both my diet (what I ate) and my exercise (that is, do something for exercise). So, Margaret and I both adjusted what we were eating, and we began walking for exercise. We started walking slowly for short periods of time, then eventually increased the pace and time of our walking.
Soon, I began to wonder if I could run. The first time that I tried, I ran for just under a mile. I waited a few days, and found that I did not have any shin pains. Next, I ran for just over a mile. Again, I did not have any pain in my shins. I continued increasing my pace and distance, and I continued to be able to run without shin pain. (After doing some research, the absence of shin pain could have been due to my losing weight and/or slowly increasing my exercise.)
So, things were going wonderfully. Margaret and I were still walking together, and several times per week, I would run as well. I loved the exercise.
Then, one week, I found running to be extremely difficult. I could not run as fast or as far as I could the week before. It wasn’t as fun as it had been. I wasn’t in pain; it was just more difficult to run.
Several people told me that this was to be expected. Everyone had off weeks, but they encouraged me to keep at it.
I decided that I needed an incentive to keep running so that I wouldn’t give up. So, I registered for two different 5k races. I kept running, even though it was hard. Within about a week or so, running was again a joy, and I was again increasing my pace and distance. I decided to register for a 10k race as well.
Now, guess what? My first 5k race – which seemed so far away when I first registered – is this Saturday! Yep. And, the second 5k race is the Saturday after that. Then, I get a weekend off before running the 10k race on November 5.
I may be a glutton for punishment, but I’m actually looking forward to the next few weeks. Not only am I enjoying running and exercising (both by myself and often with others), I also feel better and have more energy. (And, yes, Margaret and I have both lost over 20 lbs.)
Note: This post is not intended as a metaphor or allegory of the church. It’s just a quick note about what’s going on in my life. Sorry if you’re disappointed.
(p.s. The title of this post – “Running down a dream” – is the title of a Tom Petty song, which, ironically, is not about running at all.)