Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us,--Hebrews 12:1

Monday, January 13, 2014

Train Hard, but Train Smart

No run today. It's marathon week so the miles must be cut back. I still have this Janathon challenge going on though, so a rest day from running can't be a rest day from working out.

This morning I did another 18 minutes of Insanity, just the warmup and stretching part, with Shaun T. I actually thought about pushing on through the next set, but decided against it. While I don't remember exactly what came next in the workout, I do remember how hard the Insanity workouts were when I went through the program last spring.

I'm pretty hardheaded, and sometimes it takes me a while to learn. For example, no matter how many times it's come to bite me in past marathons, I still struggle with starting out too fast at a race. It's hard not to run hard when you feel so good and fresh, even knowing there are 26 miles left to run. Another lesson I'm trying to learn is to not try something new during or right before a marathon.

We train and train and train to prepare for these races. Part of all that training is more than just putting one foot after another for a long time on the road. Part of it is finding the best foods to eat, before and during the race. Part of it is establishing a routine that results in successful long runs. Part of it's having the right equipment and clothing. There's just an awful lot that goes into getting ready to run 26.2 miles. I'd say that learning is as big a part of training as working hard.

So today, when I thought about pushing through another 10 minutes or so of the workout video, I thought about what it might do to me on Sunday. Like I said, Insanity's a tough program. The workouts put a lot of stress and strain on your body. So as I finished the stretching portion of the workout, I thought about the pounding my legs and knees and core would take if I continued on.

It didn't take but a second to conclude that continuing was probably not a great idea. So I hit STOP on the DVD player and finished my day 13 Janathon workout feeling good.
16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. ~ 2 Timothy 3:16-17

For as long as I can remember, I understood the need for physical training to become a better, stronger athlete. It made perfect sense that lifting weights makes you stronger, running more makes you faster, stretching makes you more limber, etc. I never questioned my coaches about the need to practice, to lift, to run, or anything else they said I needed to do to become better. But for some reason, I didn't see the parallel between physical training and spiritual training.

I can't remember a time when I didn't believe in Jesus Christ. I remember Catholic mass and religion classes at school when I was little. I remember attending Levy Baptist Church when I got older and went to live with my dad. I remember walking down the aisle to "get saved." I remember doing all these things that I was told to do (all important things that have their place), but it seems like all I learned, in all that time was that all there is to being a Christian is to believe in Jesus so I'll to Heaven.

I thought that was all I needed. I had my ticket to Heaven, so I went out and lived anyway I wanted, doing anything I wanted, with no thought of eternal consequences or what my actions communicated to others. I thought I had everything I needed and no Bible, no preacher, no church had anything else to offer. In fact, the only time I ever picked up a Bible in those days was when things weren't going my way.

I can remember thinking, several times, maybe if I read the Bible God will fix this or give me this or do this for me. Then I'd get frustrated when things didn't turn out like I'd hoped. Sometimes I'd blame God. Sometimes I'd just be angry that He wasn't doing for me. Now I realize that I was an untrained Christian. Weak because I never worked to become a better, stronger follower of Christ.

So if you want to become a better runner, hit the road and learn. If you want to become a better ambassador for Christ, pick up the Bible and learn.

If you don't know Jesus as your personal savior, if you're missing the faith, hope, and love written about here, if you want the peace that we as Christians have in our lives, please visit our Got Jesus? page for step-by-step instructions on how to accept Jesus Christ as your personal Savior.

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