I think I can now officially call myself a “runner”, for several reasons. Mostly because on a beautiful day when I wake up, the first thing I think of wanting to do is run, and also because I actually ENJOY it. For the previous 5 years, I just forced myself to do it because I knew it would be good for me. Now I’m logging 20+ miles a week, but that number has been quickly dwindling as the past couple weeks my shin splints have returned, as well as other body aches and pains.
The one thing that greatly helped my milage for each run gradually increase was something so simple; I’m saddened that I never discovered this earlier. When I used to run, not only would I be mentally focused on the fact that I wanted the run to be over as soon as possible, but I ALWAYS looked down. I would watch my feet move up and down as I simply endured the run. Each. Step. Pain. Suffering. Never. Ending. But, as I said, since I discovered this simple mind trick, I’m able to run for miles without even thinking about it.
So the other day, I was running and enduring through the pain of my long lost shin splints, along with the cold rain, and several things hit me. Any runner (Muang) knows that when you have shin splints the best thing to do is run on softer surfaces. It just so happened that on this particular run, I was running on grass, and along with being in excruciating pain, I was also focused on each step I was taking, mostly because the ground was so uneven. I didn’t want to deal with an ankle problem on top of my shins.
Perhaps you already know the things I’m going to connect at this point, but bear with me. Life can throw us things that make waking up each morning unpleasant, to say the least. But the truth is, sometimes the best way to deal with hurt in our own lives is to simply take life one step at a time, because if we don’t, we may cause more injury to ourselves if we simply try and “buck up” and deny our emotions.
Maybe you’re going through a time when you’ve had to watch and count your every step. Sometimes I feel this way of living isn’t encouraged by spiritual leaders in our lives. I believe it’s in these “valley” times when we learn to hear what God’s voice really sounds like. The most important thing to remember, is to look up every once and a while, just to be reminded of the goal. To be reminded of why we’re enduring through all the pain.
There is a reason we are given the things in life that we have. It may not seem there is any rhyme or reason to it, but ultimately, it’s all in the hands of our creator.
For those that wonder, my shins still are killing me, but when I run now, I find that the pain is eased just a bit if I continually look up and away from my own steps. I can remember just where I’m going.