I joined a running club last week.
Maybe, if you don't know me, you don't really give this much thought.
And if you do know me...
you know that running, at one time, was not something I wanted to do.
I had a friend on Facebook recently say to me that she remembered when I said I wouldn't ever be a runner.
And I never thought I would be.
But last year , about this time, I decided I wanted to run a 5K before I turned 39.
I started the Couch to 5K running program and off I went.
I need to tell you here-because this is important in a few minutes.
I am a lone runner.
I love to run alone. I love the quiet. I love hearing my feet hit the pavement. I love the mental push of making it to the next landmark. I love the solitude.
So, as I was saying, on Saturday of last week, I joined a running club.
I also joined it with the intention of training for a half marathon in November.
The girl that was never going to run.
That is a lone runner.
Running with people.
For 13.1 miles.
I showed up to the appointed place.
It was way early.
I'd had no coffee.
and I generally don't like morning.
(ok, in my defense, it's not that I HATE mornings. I hate rushing into the morning with a lot of activity and words and noise and socializing)
Thankfully, my husband was there...he likes morning...and words...and words in the morning.
People began to arrive, each clothed, ready to run.
Some were fit and lean.
Some were solid and strong.
Some were cute and coordinated.
Some were (me) just glad they remembered deodorant.
The leader went over some basics, the idea behind the program, our goals and then we broke into groups.
I found myself in the middle of about ten women.
She was amazing.
She checked on every runner.
She talked about her first year and how hard it was and how far she'd come.
I ran with the pack for about two miles ...
and that is where my ...I haven't really ran since November... hit me.
I felt a little icky.
I dropped my pace and walked for an interval and by that point I had lost the group...
not by a lot, but enough to be on my own...
except for the two new girls who'd never run before.
And that's when, as God often does, used my day to day to speak to my heart.
I'd always claimed I was a lone runner.
Because I'd never run with a group.
I'd never felt that feeling of kinship, because they were taking the steps with you.
I'd never been able to share the road.
And how often, in our lives, do we take it alone?
We carry the weight and worry...
the troubles and trials...
the hurt and hopelessness...
Never willing to share the load.
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, 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.
And how fitting that I now have my own 'cloud of witnesses' surrounding me.
They know my destination.
They are there to help me along.
To cheer for me.
To help me when I stumble.
And how good it is of God to give us that in our fellow Christ followers.
People on the same journey.
Walking beside you.
Praying for you.
Catching you when you fall.
You may never be a runner.
But I hope you'll join the faith race.
it's worth training for...
and I know a great group to run with...
I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.