A big, very big, flying bug is buzzing at my screen door, loud and bulky, I’m almost a little worried it’s going to break in. It bounces against the screen, sounding like an enraged bumble bee only twice the size. I think I’m going to lock the doors downstairs.
For whatever reason I was inspired last week to begin running everyday. Not the path I was periodically taking through the neighborhood. Rather a much more wild path, through the forest on trails used and abused by logging crews. There are berms in the trail, making one have to run over them like it was a World War One expedition into No Man’s land. Trees were felled, and left piled, some were chopped into chips and also left piled. Up and down in the hills on soft dirt, off trail at times (my socks are a mess now). For about forty minutes I run, not much really, but given the haphazard habit jogging has always held for me, more so since I took up kayaking, it is a nice restart of sorts.
I run because it makes me sweat, and I feel better having rid my body of whatever has built up inside of it. I run because my legs have a weird tan, a kayak tan, which means very dark knees and pale shins. I run because it’s good exercise and when the scale the other day whispered 215 I realized I was beginning to venture into realms I didn’t like. I run because my mind is inspired, thoughts reveal themselves, and honestly because running has a potent practical spiritual analogy for me.
I didn’t want to go today. In fact I said, yes out loud…, no, not to myself… to my dog, “I’m going running because I don’t feel like it.” He looked up at me, and gave me a unmistakeable dog shrug before putting his head back down.
A nap felt more appealing, strongly enticing. I put on my shoes and walked outside into the heat, feeling comforted by the wonderful mountain breeze which took the edge off. Then I proceeded to run the entire path, where before I always had to walk a bit of the ways — because I set a distance longer than what I could do at first. The getting out was the bugger, once begun the rhythm and previous exercise took over.
It is to me a spiritual discipline, one which I use when prayer does not rise up, and study doesn’t focus. It becomes, with the reasons behind it, an act of worship, because I do it so that I can better see God in the rest of my life.
Ambition, if turned towards God, can take peculiar forms. I also, after a shower, did end up taking a nap. Ten minutes long and wonderfully refreshing.