Sometimes running isn’t exactly what I want to do with my life. To be completely honest I can be pretty lazy. Not to mention the fact that eating is one of my favorite activities. Neither of those two things ties in very well to someone becoming a runner. Something though keeps pulling me back in even though the idea of a 5:30 morning run or a below freezing run in the snow just doesn’t seem like it should be my thing.
I think I can identify a few things that have helped me stay motivated. First and most obviously I wanted to be and needed to be healthier. Running along with a better diet has made that a reality. I still have a lot of work to do, especially on the diet, but I am without a doubt healthier now than I was 1 year ago. Losing over 50lbs does things for your body that you would have never dreamed of. It actually makes life easier. I was sledding with my kids this weekend and we went to a huge hill. I was dreading the climb up the hill something terrible. I told them before we got there that I would only do it a couple times. This was a serious hill. It takes several minutes to walk up the hill if you don’t stop to rest.
We got there with some friends and headed up and it was rough. I had already ran 3 miles that morning. My legs were tired. BUT, the ride down with Ava in front of my laughing hysterically was a blast. The kind of thing that dads love. So I went up again and again and again. I honestly don’t know how many times I climbed that hill, but it was probably more than anyone there. I had the desire and now my body had the ability to enjoy this with my girls.
I also get the satisfaction of being able to share experiences with my oldest daughter. Being a cross country runner she gets to do a lot of runs with me. She is in high school now, but because of running I still get to spend one on one time with her. I believe we are closer now than we have ever been. She is my oldest so I can’t speak from experience, but I don’t believe that is normal. Teenage girls, from what I have heard, can be a little difficult. I cherish these high school years with her because I get to do things like running with her. Sure we do stuff as a family, but running is something that I get as time with just her and I. That is priceless to me.
One of the most surprising things that keeps me motivated is the connection I have felt with God and nature through running. Look at the picture at the beginning of this post. I would have missed that completely 1 year ago. I was in the back part of White Hall Park playing in the snow with my family when I spotted that sunset. The old lazy David would have let Ava play in our back yard instead of taking her to White Hall. I would have been in the house watching TV. I challenge anyone to convince me that I would get more out of anything on TV than I would from spending time enjoying nature with my family.
God has been really good to me over the last year. I am happy with my life and a lot of people I know can’t say that. Sometimes I wonder if being out on the road alone early morning or evenings hasn’t played a big part in my happiness. I get time to talk to God and see his creation in an uninterrupted way that I never did before. You may say that running isn’t for you, but if getting closer to your family and God is something that interest you then I suggest giving running or walking a try. It can’t hurt, but the payout can be tremendous.