Peer pressure. Don’t you just hate it? I had a handful of friends saying they were going to run the Gum Tree 10K run. They were really trying to get me to do it as well. The ringleader of all this encouragement/pressure was from my wife. I kept trying to tell everyone that I wasn’t in 10K shape (that’s 10,000 meters or 6.2 miles for those of you with out a calculator), and that I should probably just sit this one out. But deep down I actually wanted to do it. But I didn’t want to embarrass myself. There’s nothing like standing at the starting line with your friends, joking about whatever’s on your mind. Then to see them dart off in a hurry at the sound of the gun…and to see them get smaller and smaller as they zoom down the road.
So I ran with another friend who’d never run a 10K before. She said her goal was just to finish w/o walking. I figured I’d stick with her and if she wanted to walk, I’d be nice and walk with her. But at the midway point I had to walk and she never stopped running. She actually ended up placing in the top 5 in her age group! I made it in under 1:10, which isn’t really that good of a time, but it is considering my lack of any sort of training at all in the past year. I’ve not ran 6.2 miles since four years ago when I ran the same race, the Gum Tree, on my wedding day.
The thing is, I know I can do better. I know I could knock substantial minutes off my time if I’d put some effort/time into training some. My personal best is a 52:08 that I ran in my first 10K down in New Orleans. Again, nothing to get overly excited about. But I know that time could come down as well.
I know it’s not all about minutes and seconds. I doubt I’ll ever be a world class runner. Probably not even a small-town-Mississippi class runner. But I know with a few ounces of preparation/discipline/training that results would be fairly easy.
Again, I think this is the same truth I need to realize more and more about my spiritual life. Some spiritual discipline and training and attention will go a long way toward my relationship with God, toward my spiritual health, and [in turn] toward everything in my life. Now I just have to apply that truth. And dive into some study/prayer/solitude/fasting/meditation. Not always the most “convenient” of things to do (just like going out to run 3-4 miles a few days a week isn’t either) but so much more rewarding (even though I’ve got a few aches right now, I’m really, really glad I ran this morning.)