Saturday, 14 May 2011

Why run?

I really want to tell you about a run I had a few days ago.  As our computer has been on the blink, I've not had much of a chance.  So now, here goes.

On Tuesday I had a tricky meeting at work.  There's nothing particularly unusual in that, quite common for me in and around the Ministry of Justice.  Don't get me wrong, tricky meetings are engaging and feisty sometimes and definitely worthwhile.  This meeting however took an unexpected turn which made me think the direction of my (ever changing) job might take - a direction I'm not happy about, perhaps a bit of a put down.

Back home, I felt exhausted through replaying the discussion in my mind.  Went to bed at the usual time and fell asleep almost instantly as I normally do.  Next I knew was waking up at 4am feeling really worried, hot and very bothered.  I got up, quietly, made a mug of tea, went to the loo, decided to go for a run.  It was the only thing to do.

As normal the first mile was hard.  Hard because it is slightly uphill and I'm still stiff.  After 8-10 minutes I'm at the top of a short but very steep hill and leaving all the houses and cars behind me.  It was then I decided a longer run was needed but also knew I'd ache afterwards.  It would be worth it.  If clearing my mind is achieved, achy legs is a fair price.

The run was hilly and I had a gentle pace for the most part.  My spirits were lifted on seeing a young deer, long before it saw me but then bolted into the undergrowth.  Shortly afterwards a fox who was not bothered by me being quite close.  The sun was low and soft.  The colours of the countryside were muted and blended well with each other.  I ran for about an hour and I was really starting to enjoy it, although getting a little tired.  I mentally worked out a route to get me home in another 30 minutes.  Just right, the run would probably be about 10 miles in all.

This now is the important bit.  I was mulling over the problem, not sure how to react and deal with it.  Gradually it became clearer and clearer as the miles ticked by. I began to realise what I should do and how to go about it.  After a couple more miles my confidence was lifted and feelings of complete assurance buzzed through my thoughts.  I smiled to myself, I knew how to handle it.  I was on the home leg now, going down the steep hill and just a few minutes from home.  The last 100 meters turned into a sort of sprint (well, as best I could do) as I wanted to feel that runner's high well and truly and I certainly did!

I thank the Lord for the issue, the problem and praise for the way that I've been able to deal with it.

The rest of the day was fine.  Although I wasn't away from my office (often a reason to cycle) I decided to drive to work and allow my achy legs to recover.  It's a few months since I last ran about 10 miles and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Finally to anyone dealing with a stressful, difficult situation or where you're fraught with worry, I can testify to the wonders of running.  You could feel on top of the world, totally free and able to see things completely differently.  From my own experience, I whole heartedly recommend running for physical and mental well being - my only regret is leaving it until my late 40's to find this out.  All that, combined with faith, is the answer for me.

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