My wrist-alarm went off this morning at 5:01. I snoozed for 10 minutes, just letting the morning "simmer" a little (a tip from Sam Keen). Then it's off to the kitchen while the children and wife are still snuggled in bed. Sit down at the kitchen table for some water and energy bar and thank God for the chance to try again. The energy bar is heavy stuff, filled with some Melaluca-super-duper vitamins and minerals and such; it's takes two glasses of water to get it down. Then it's off to the holy of holies for some sit-down, devotional time. Nothing base about that; it's something as regular as the rising of the sun. The Mela-bar needs about fifteen minutes to settle in, so I've got time to sit and think. I rise lighter, happier. I think I'm tired. Change clothes, like some long-haired Mister Rogers, replacing bedtime boxers for wicking t-shirt, running shorts and socks, and trail shoes. Downstairs to the treadmill this morning (I run trails on the weekends). I approach the NordicTrac 2000, step on, adjust the settings, and begin the slow warm-up. I love running. Today is speed day. I run three times a week, one day for strength (hills), one day for speed (all out fast), and one day outside on the trail for distance. I figure this gives me a rounded workout for the ole' heart. Each run is followed up by some weights, Bowflex, or dips and chin-ups on one of those power-tower doohickeys. Keeping exercise at three days a week is a limiting-discipline for me. I could do it everyday and used to; but there are other things to do these days, other people to care for, other things more important than big biceps or cannonball calves or six-minute miles. Thank God.
I feel strong this morning. I bet I could run for hours. My breathing assumes a rhythm that my body recognizes (hey, we do this three times a week) and the sweat begins to form. Before long, my body is running by itself. The rhythm has been established and the legs, heart and arms are doing the work. My mind is thinking about books I want to write, editors I hope I can find, and publishers with the brass to publish what is most dear to me. I consider that prayer. My eyes aren't closed (fairly dangerous on a treadmill) and my head's not bowed, but I'm bringing to the surface the people, places and things I love and I lift those thoughts to the Grace that keeps this world. I run/pray a little for my friends seeking adoption. I pray/run for my wife and three kids. I run for a man who's about to jump into the unknown, leaving his job and life as he has known life. I run and run and run. See John run. See John pray. See John run for strength, speed and distance. See John pray for hope, faith and love. I bet I could pray for hours...I think it was that Chariots of Fire guy who said he felt God's pleasure when he ran. Yeah. I know what he meant.