No I'm not running away from anything, well except dogs when I go through neighborhoods. Today when it was in the low 90's and I was on mile 3 or so, I began to really ask myself "Why in the world are you doing this?" I've been running fairly consistently since January 2006 when I decided I wanted to try my hand at the Derby Mini-Marathon (13.1 miles). I trained hard for over 4 months, gave up pretty much every enjoyable fast food, soft drinks, etc. and ended up crossing the line just under 1:54, beating my goal time by almost 6 minutes.
I've been thinking about reasons why, so I'll start with the most shallow and move to the most spiritual reasons that I run.
1) Carrie thinks I have really nice legs. There I said it, sorry sweetie. But it is flattering when she comments on them, so why shouldn't I want to do that for her.
2) I like how I feel when I'm in shape. I grew up running, playing soccer, etc. and I miss being able to go all day and never get tired. I like how I sleep at night, restful and deep. I like how I can eat like a horse (low fat though) and not gain weight.
3) It's a whole lot of fun. It's a blast to get out there and feel the wind on your face, the sun on your back, the ground beneath my feet becomes like a trampoline.
4) It's a great way to meet people. Runners have to be some of the friendliest people I know, everyone at least says hi to you in a park and the better runners always seem to encourage those who are having a harder time. It's a great conversation starter and a wonderful way to talk to people about spiritual things.
5) The Bible often talks about running as a metaphor for the Christian life. It is not a sprint but rather a marathon, taking a long time and exacting a huge toll on your body. It requires training, discipline, attitude, patience, and perseverance to make it.
6) The body is the dwelling place of the Holy Spirit, how can you not take care of the place that God dwells? Being fit and in shape and being healthy is for me an act of worship.
So there we go, from the most shallow to the deepest reasons, why I run.