Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Improve Your Life #1: Running

I have taken to regular runs since earlier this year. I believe it's very important to take care of myself by eating healthy and exercise. I fail often (especially the eating part!) but this is the mantra that goes through my head.

"Your body is the only instrument through which God has given you to experience life. Improve your body, improve your life."

That's it. Pretty simple, very obvious but too often overlooked. The body I have is a gift from God... it's His, not mine... He created it and knit it together in my mama's womb so I feel responsible to take care of what I'm borrowing. In my mind this is part of my own spiritual growth before God. Serving at RPCC is easy because I have a passion to serve people and see people on a growth trajectory in their life, aka: see people grow in their relationship with Jesus Christ. I can only do this well from a full 'spiritual' tank, or as some would say, from an 'overflowing cup'. This year I've been filling this 'cup' through running. I spend a lot of time in reflection and prayer when I run. It's one of my spiritual disciplines built into my life right now.

To be honest, I also enjoy the accomplishment of filling up my iPod Touch calendar with little dots that represent the days I have run. Silly huh? :)

I got my iPod Touch last Christmas and have been filling up the calendar with my runs starting in January.

My regular route is 2.44 miles. Not really far, but it's been working for me.

Here are a few dates and times (I actually ran on average 2-3 times a week from Feb-May but I'll only list a few dates to illustrate my progress.)
Feb 6 - 22:02
Feb 11 - 20:03
Feb 19 - 19:44
Feb 27 - 17:24
Mar 12 - 20:05
Mar 21 - 16:32
Mar 26 - 17:58
Apr 15 - 17:29
May 2 - 28:18 (ran 4.94 miles this day)
May 20 - 16:01
May 22 - 17:55
My running routine went on hiatus because of a 6 week trip to Alpharetta, GA to do an internship with North Point Campus Expansion. I literally only ran once on a treadmill during this time. We were kept busy with a lot of meetings, aka, sitting on our backsides for four weeks straight! Combining that with a lot of southern food and overdosing on sweet tea contributed to me gaining 10 lbs! When I got home I was very excited to get back to my beloved running route! Below are all of the runs to date since getting back to Ventura, CA.

July 28 - 17:10
July 29 - 16:20
July 31 - 15:30
Aug 4 - 14:31
Aug 5 - 14:56
Aug 6 - 13:34
Aug 9 - 13:35
Aug 11 - 15:08
Aug 12 - 13:16

I usually start my run around 7am. It's the best running time of the day and I literally notice the increased energy and focus levels I have on the days I run. On future posts I'll throw up a run time and comments now that you're caught up on my year.

What do you do to take care of the only instrument through which you experience life? If you're not doing much I challenge you to improve your life this week. Pick a day this week and a time to do it and keep your promise to yourself by following through. Let me know how it goes.

For the next few posts I'll share a few other random things I strive to do to improve my life and that you could do to improve yours instantly. I'll explain in the next few posts so you better come back regularly but for now here's what I call them:
1. The alarm clock promise 2. First three in the door 3. Power 12 foods 4. Solitude and knees

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