The Physical Exercise of the Spiritual

13.1 Miles
Virtual Day-Early Race for Gabby Strides

Disclaimer:  Today I’m delving into an area I don’t talk about much – faith – notsomuch religion, but just spirituality…so if it doesn’t strike your fancy, feel free to skip on and rejoin us when we get back to our regularly scheduled programming – no offense taken here.  

Thursday night, I tuned into my local hourly forecast to see what was in store Friday morning for my day-early virtual half marathon for Gabby (and Heather).  100% chance of rain in the am.

Fabulous.  Good thing the forecast was 100% wrong.

I set out for my miles and began the run that would remind me why I do all of this in the first place (’cause let’s face it *most* of my runs lately have left me wondering why).  After a 4am wakeup call to get my work done, I set out around 6:30 in the break between the rain storm.

The first half of the run was an unleashing of my heart.  The worries, the concerns, the stress – mirroring the weather – were clouded in prayer, processing and silence.

IMG_3032

As I continued my run, I was filled with a lightness  [and that little rainbow in the sky along the route was a nice little bonus too].  But the second half of that run got me thinking was what I mostly appreciate about long distance running – it forces me to go beyond myself.

If you know me in person…you know I’m a very spiritual person.  I used to be very religious, but I found that got me in all sorts of trouble and left me with very little faith and so very many rules, and I lost sight of the heart and soul of what faith was and got stuck in “doing stuff like I should”.

In an increasingly individualistic society where self-sustenance and independence reign supreme, I find the physical discipline of stretching myself beyond my physical abilities to be a very spiritual reminder of the fact that I (personally) need to be dependent on someone who is greater than I.  When I’m pushed to the ends of my physical ability, I have to tap into a different part of my mind and soul that I don’t regularly exercise during the mundane day to day, where while it might be tough, I can usually fend for my own.

That emptying of self leaves room for me to be filled with more of someone else, and quite honestly, it extends me beyond what I thought was possible and makes me a better me.

Do you have a “spiritual” side to your running?  
I’d love to hear about it!  In fact, I’d love to compile all of the different spiritual insights of running and post a blog about it from a variety of perspectives one day.  Feel free to post your response or even email it to me and I’ll aggregate them and post away!

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5 thoughts on “The Physical Exercise of the Spiritual

  1. Love this. I love running for the same reason. I come to the end of me (pretty quick most days) and I’m forced to face a side of myself that is pretty raw. I see the real me come out and deal with issues that I wouldn’t have noticed otherwise.

  2. I won’t go into my history with religion, but suffice to say that I am “unaffiliated and exploring”, with respect to organized religion, at present.

    But there is absolutely a spiritual element to my running. No question. When I run, there’s some kind of mind/body/spirit/nature connection that I just never feel doing any other kind of exercise.

    ^That is totally vague. But it’s the best way I can put the experience into words at the moment.

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