Exercise and such…

It’s 5:08 a.m.  I’m up getting ready to go teach a cycling class at LA Fitness.  If I weren’t teaching I’d likely be attending a class.  If I wasn’t attending a class I’d be running in the desert.  Some have said that I’m an exercise addict.  Some might be right…but there are worse things to be addicted to, right?

I absolutely love to exercise.  I love how my body feels when it’s moving and being pushed to its limits.  I love sweating because my heart rate is raised.  I love going from place to place on my feet or my bike, not depending upon other methods of transportation.  I haven’t always felt this way.  For the most part, I grew up inside.  I never saw a trail when I was a kid.  I played a season of softball without much impression.  I wasn’t a runner and only rode my pink 10 speed bike on special occasion.

I began exercising casually when I was in college.  I took a couple of exercise classes and went to the rec center every once in a while.  I ran my first 5K when I lived in Texas.  It was fun, but not life changing.  It was the influence of Billy Still that brought to life my passion for distance events.  Billy talked about the adventures he had on the trails.  He encouraged me to look into the Team in Training program to train for my first marathon.  I did…and along with 3 of my friends from St. Paul’s, we completed our first marathon in 2001.  It was life changing.  For the girl who had rarely moved her body to have completed a 26.2 mile run…well…it’s still hard for me to put into words how I am different.

One of the most powerful ways I was changed by completing that event was that I became passionate about exercising.  I realized I could do amazing things with my body and that I loved doing them.  Now I’ve been to places people can’t reach in motorized vehicles.  I’ve been to places that are remote and far from a road.  I’ve used snow as my water source.  I’ve completed two 50 mile trail races!  How many people can say that??

All of this brings me joy.  What unexpected new thing can bring you joy today?  It might not be some form of exercise…but it might be.  It might be developing a talent that’s been dormant for years.  It might be picking up the phone and reconnecting with someone who used to be important to you.  Whatever your joy…whatever your passion…run towards it, never away from it.  Experience the sheer joy that comes from living abundantly, doing what God created you to do!!

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