There is an old running track near where I live. I’ve just started running there with a friend who I ran the Leeds Half Marathon with earlier this year (it’s nothing like the track in this picture but I don’t have a photo of our one). Anyway, we’re doing this thing at the moment which I think is called interval training-where you gently jog for a bit and then sprint at a certain point, going back to a gentle jog before returning to a sprint again. It’s a very tiring, gruelling cycle and so far has shown me two things:
1) I am not very fit!
2) When you’re not aiming for anything specifically (e.g. it’s not a race) it can be very hard to stay motivated and to put in 100% effort, particularly on the sprints and certainly once breathing gets harder and pain creeps in.
But, as they say, “No pain no gain”. I don’t know why this is meant to be comforting though because who in their right mind wants the pain?! I guess deep down I understand the point of it though, as do the athletes competing in the London 2012 Olympics right now.
There’s a verse in the Bible that tells us to throw off the ‘sin’ that holds us back (our mistakes and our baggage) and to “run the race marked out for us.” It goes on to suggest that if we focus on who Jesus is and what he has planned for us, we will be able to run better and finish well too. I’m not talking about physical running here anymore, but I do believe Jesus to be the only one capable of taking all of our burdens, so running (going through life) both as he wants me to and with his help makes the most sense to me!