A Runner’s High

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This morning the 5 a.m. alarm pulled me from the warmth of my dreams. I nudged Hubby awake so he could get up for work. Usually I roll over, pull the comforter up to my chin and stay snuggled in the warmth while pondering my plot.

This morning I did something different–I threw back the covers, forced myself out of bed, and dressed in my workout gear. I grabbed my iPod, laced my shoes and headed out the door for my first day of Couch to 5K training.

Darkness cloaked the neighborhood, but the streetlights lit my path as I walked and jogged my route. After 30 minutes, my house beckoned like a beacon as I wheezed my way home. My chest burned, muscled thrummed, but my heart danced.

I did it.

I ran.

I shared my morning excitement with a friend, who encouraged me and asked if I felt great. I laughed and told her I felt like I was going to die, but you know what? I do feel great.

I feel great because I did what I said I was going to do instead of taking the easy way…the lazy way.

I feel great because I started my day being marveled by the beauty of God’s handiwork–the night sky smudged by the dawn.

If this is the runner’s high that my friend mentioned, then yes, I have a runner’s high.

In the New Testament, Paul had a runner’s high. I’m not sure if he was an athlete, but he likened self-discipline and living the life of a Christian to a runner.

1 Corinthians 9:24-27 NIV reads: Do you not know that in a race all runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. Therefore I do not run like someone running aimlessly; I do not fight like a boxer beating the air. No, I strike a blow to my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.

As Christians, we need focus. We need to keep our eye on the prize–our eternal crown in Heaven. By keeping our eyes fixed on Jesus, He will be the one at the finish line cheering us on.

My friend mentioned a high she feels after running. I understood what she meant because I returned home feeling great for going through with my first day of Couch to 5K. But as a Christian, spending time in the Word, fellowshipping with other Christians, and keeping my spiritual self-discipline in line with God’s leading, I’ll experience a spiritual runner’s high that will keep me going no matter how pitted my path may become.

Your turn: Do you walk or run on a regular basis? What tips would you have for a beginning runner? What are your thoughts regarding Paul’s comparison of a Christian to a runner?

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  1. Lindsay Harrel

    I had never been a runner until about this time last year when I trained for a 4.2-mile race. I thought I would die in the training process, but my body adapted as I slowly added on more and more running and less walking. Even though I wasn't fast, it felt so good to do something I never thought I could do. For me, it was just so amazing to look a race in the eye and tell it, "You're mine. I'm gonna conquer you."

  2. Jessica R. Patch

    When I first started running, I felt that same exhilaration! You did it! Congratulations!!!! (I can't run outside-I get chased by dogs. UGH!)

    I haven't ran consistently in awhile. It's sad how fast you lose everything you build up. Keep going! ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. Melissa Tagg

    First of all, congrats on making it out of bed! That's awesome, Lisa!

    I don't run. Unless it's from a bad guy. And thankfully, I don't bump into many of those in my day-to-day life. But I do loooove my elliptical. Mostly because I can read while elliptical-ing. It's become the peaceful time in my day.

    I love your comparison, though. Running the race of faith takes effort and intent and massive amounts of self-discipline. But it's so worth it. I was up at 5 a.m. today, too, for my quiet time with God and I'm truly a different person on the days I follow through on that morning routine.

  4. Donna

    Wow, I'm so proud of you! That's quite an accomplishment. Your parallel of running our faith race hit me right where I needed it today. Thanks so much – and keep up the great training work!

  5. Lisa Jordan

    Lindsay, thank you for those encouraging words. I don't have a race planned yet, so I'm doing this mainly for myself, but I like to challenge myself to do something I haven't done before. This year it's running. Baby steps…one wheeze at a time. ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. Lisa Jordan

    Jess, I didn't get chased by anything this morning except my own self-doubt, but I powered through and arrived home victorious. I told Hubby one day at a time.

  7. Lisa Jordan

    MTagg, you've always been an inspiration to me with your 5 a.m. quiet time. I'm hoping to get into the schedule of walking/running from 5:15-5:45, shower, then have my quiet time before the Little Darlings arrive.

    It was so peaceful this morning. I could run without having my day intrude on my thoughts. Just me and God. ๐Ÿ˜€

  8. Lisa Jordan

    Thanks, Donna. I'm taking it one day at a time. Finding discipline to exercise is one of my biggest struggles, but I can do it.

  9. Heidi Chiavaroli

    Congratulations, Lisa! It's hard to climb out of a warm bed to put yourself through torture. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    I love to run, and ran my first (and probably last) marathon in 2010. While I was training, I often thought of a verse in Hebrews that encourages me in running, writing, and my faith.

    "Let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God."

    I love the verse in 1 Corinthians as well. Thanks for the inspiration, and happy running!

  10. Beth K. Vogt

    Brava, friend! And I appreciate the spiritual application too.