Leaving Yinz Hanging

So, a year and a half ago, I wrote a blog post before the culmination of three months of blood, sweat and tears (okay, maybe it wasn’t that intense).

In all seriousness, my last blog post was full of little victories and doubts. I was pleased with what I had accomplished, but I wasn’t sure if I would actually cross the finish line.

Spoiler alert: I did. And then I did it again. And for good measure, I crossed a 5K finish line one more time after that also. I got some hardware and some t-shirts, a lot of coupons for Eat’n Park and Dick’s Sporting Goods, and best of all, I lived to tell the tale!

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The spoils of my victories!

But while those victories were sweet, they didn’t last. Soon, I became an exercise-loathing couch potato once again. All it took was a cold winter, two capstone papers and Christmas cookies. It’s not even like I was a hard sell or something. It’s honestly kind of embarrassing.

So, full of sloth and sugar, I graduated from college, moved to a small town in order to start my first job post-graduation as a college campus missionary, and started living with a new roommate who did something wild.

She ran a 10 mile race. And tried to talk me into it.

I wasn’t having any of it. But I did drive her to Pittsburgh and cheer her on, along with some of our other friends who were running. And while I was there, I remembered how much fun it was to accomplish something like that, and receive “free” t-shirts, fun designed finisher medals, and the love received from people cheering you on. The pleasure senses from those memories triggered other memories, like all the health benefits I received from running. And how necessary they were.

It was in that moment that I knew I could spend the amount of money it would take to register for a half-marathon at a doctor’s office, and at the doctor’s office, I wouldn’t get a t-shirt, medal, a cheering crowd or runner’s high.

So, I registered for a half marathon and decided to resurrect my running blog.

As I looked at the title (“Three Miles to Glory”) and everything I posted about, I was filled with pride and accomplishment at a job well done. But I knew that for this one, I would need a new, bigger theme.

I mentioned that I’m a college campus missionary. Basically, this means that I evangelize on campus, inviting students to encounter the person of Jesus Christ in bible studies and in the Sacraments (spoiler: I’m Catholic). So, as I continue to work on my ongoing conversion as a missionary disciple of Jesus and bring college students with me, I thought it would be best to bring faith into this adventure this time.

And what story fits better for running a half-marathon than David and Goliath? If you need a refresher, tiny little David who barely fits into his brothers’ battle armor takes on Goliath, a giant Philistine whose army has been beating the Israelites forever, causing them much pain and grief. But with a faith that makes the armor he can barely fit into look small, David takes down Goliath. David’s faith is heroic and saves the Israelites from the Philistines, and it’s the kind of faith I knew I would need to pray with and ask for grace to receive to take on the challenge ahead of me.

It ended up being more fitting than I realized, too, because at the same time that I train for this half, I have decided to try to conquer my weight. See, I have this disease known as Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, or PCOS. It really hasn’t been studied very much and there’s no cure, and when I was “diagnosed” in high school, the doctor just told me that all of my problems would be solved if I lost weight. Which I have tried several times over the course of my life with no success.

Well, I found out recently, thanks to some friends who also have the condition speaking out, that when you have PCOS, it’s actually much harder to lose weight than it is for other people. Wish that doctor would’ve told me that! So I started doing some research and educated myself on what a good diet for someone with PCOS is, and I’m excited to try it and see if it works! Coupled with exercise, I should know very soon if what I’m doing is effective.

The running was never about the weight, but about setting a goal and accomplishing it. And even though I am working on my weight issue, the running still isn’t about the weight. It’s about eating better and eating well, training hard, and looking for the small victories. And with David’s faith as my own, I know I’ll be crossing the finish line this May pleased with all that I have accomplished.

“Then David said to the Philistine, ‘You come to me with a sword and with a spear and with a javelin; but I come to you in the name of the LORD of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. This day the LORD will deliver you into my hand, and I will strike you down, and cut off your head; and I will give the dead bodies of the host of the Philistines this day to the birds of the air and to the wild beasts of the earth; that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel, and that all this assembly may know that the LORD saves not with sword and spear; for the battle is the LORD’S and he will give you into our hand.'” – 1 Samuel 17:45-47, RSV Catholic Edition

113 Days Until the Half Marathon

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