This past Sunday I went on one of the most FUN runs ever! It was Run for God night at church. A group of anywhere between 15-30 people of every skill level and age come together to learn to run or run better. There is a Bible study involved, helping the runners focus on doing everything for the glory of God. It's a fantastic program and has revitalized our church and our community. It has changed people in amazing ways--not just physically, but emotionally pushing past boundaries they never thought possible, and spiritually by trusting God to empower them beyond their own abilities and focus their hearts and minds on Him.
Everyone meets for group runs (following the Couch to 5K running program) on Wednesday and Friday evenings and Sunday afternoons. Typically, we divide into two groups based on skill level--beginner or intermediate. We follow separate running paths and have different running goals. But this past Sunday was different. In an effort to be united in mind and action, the two groups ran together. We stayed on the Erie Canal bike path together, the more experienced runners go back and forth, back and forth, as the beginners get plugging on. It was encouraging to be alongside one another, encouraging, spurring on toward greatness.
It was the beginner group's first ever 20 minute run. (Up to this point, the longest they had run in a row was 8 minutes with a 2 or 3 minute walk, then 8 minutes, etc.) It was intimidating and scary for many of them, but with 10 or more experienced runners coaching them and keeping their morale high, they finished strong!
My run was a little more unique though. I was running with a 10 year old and a 7 year old. The girls had asked me to run with them--which actually surprised me because when I had run with A. on Friday, I had coached her like crazy and pushed her pretty hard. I wasn't sure she'd ever want to run with me again! But she did! (She must really be a runner, because we're gluttons for punishment...that's what running is, right?! lol)
Off we went, and boy did we have a blast. Little Miss 2nd Grader and I were inserting fairy leaps into our runs--bounding off the group and flapping our arms like wings. (You cover a LOT of ground that way!) We kept encouraging Miss A who was having a bit of trouble with her brand new shoes, and we all finished we spirits high!
Along the way, we picked up Miss 2nd Grader's little sister, W. Boy oh boy can that 5 year old run! She would take off at a full out sprint in front of us, and we'd race to catch up with her. Back and forth, again and again. And giggling like school girls (oh wait...) all the way. :)
Being carefree and whimsical isn't my typical modus operandi, but it was so wonderful to act like a kid again!