That’s how long I’ve been on the pre-marathon training regimen. Six days for six weeks I have slavishly followed my schedule in a way that would make a Bolshevik blush. I printed out the schedule detailing the duration and interval splits (45@ 5:1= 5 min run/1 min walk for 45 minutes total), taped it to the fridge and have followed it exactly. With few exceptions this has been the first thing I do every day but Sunday.
I have not interpreted the rules. I haven’t adjusted the training to suit my personal taste or interest, or health. Whether I’ve felt good, or tired, or was too busy had no relevance to just getting out there and doing it every day.
So what? You’re thinking. Well, here’s the thing. I remember when I approached the disciplines of the Christian life in a somewhat similar fashion. When I simply trusted that doing certain activities – meditation, reflection, reading, prayer, being in intentional relationships – moved me closer to what I really desired: life with God.
This past Saturday I ran from my house to the lakefront down to Irving Park Road and back — 5 1/2 miles. In a rainstorm. Six weeks earlier I couldn’t run 5 blocks without stopping and gasping for air. All because I simply followed the rules without question.
And it’s gotten me thinking. Not about being a Bolshevik Christian. But I do realize the danger of feeling you are ‘mature’ enough to simply do without the rules. And I’m seeing the folly and self-deception I fall into when I believe I can simply drift toward the goal for “the upward call of Christ” as Paul says it.
Running is my daily reminder that, if I really want to move closer to God, then I have a choice in making that happen.