Fellowship in a Surprising Congregation

When I started the year, I set a goal for myself that I would run 9+ miles a week.

Aaaaaand we’re easily past the first quarter of the year. I would not judge myself kindly on that goal being accomplished. Because I put something out there quantifiable, easily measured, and by that reason alone, I’ve failed. Already.

But I’ve done something BETTER. It happened by accident – sorta, mostly because I never thought it would – and it crept up on me.

I’ve learned how to run.

In 2009, sure, I ran my first 5K. I ran LOTS of 5Ks that year. But I trained by myself – badly – and wasn’t sure of what I was doing. And I got bored, quickly. I ran mostly on a treadmill. Indoors. Alone. Sometimes reading, sometimes listening to music. But I hated it.

Now, I make time for myself twice – sometimes three times! – a week. I make sure that dinner’s taken care of, and Bryan is going to be home, and I head out to run. I meet my peeps and we take off on a new challenge. We all keep eachother honest and motivated and we’re good to eachother. We talk, sometimes about surface stuff (like how much we all hate running), but sometimes about real stuff. It’s .. amazing, really.

As I get older, I find myself gravitating toward a less social position. I don’t mind the occasional hello, but I’m not one to really call someone on the phone to gab. I’m much more of a “Thought this funny thing right now so I’m sending you this text, but I have nothing beyond this quip to convey” person. So the idea that I run .. hang out, really .. with these guys is insane to me. Surprising. And lovely all the same.

Saturday morning, we were all at a quick clip for a five minute burst when we turned down a well-manicured street that was entirely covered with mature sprawling trees. The patterns through the leaves left lovely lace details for our feet and the breeze through the residential sprinklers was so welcome.

Our resident male remarked, “Y’all. This is downright holy.”

And he’s right. It’s our own little church, where we find fellowship and peace. We cleanse ourselves of the wrongs of the days behind us, and we prepare our bodies for whatever lies ahead. We take deep, restorative breaths. We hydrate. We occasionally stumble, and our brethren pick us up. At the end, we all hug and wish eachother well in the coming days.

It is not yet 9 miles a week. But my GOODNESS, it is definitely a necessary accomplishment.

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4 Responses to Fellowship in a Surprising Congregation

  1. Zoot April 29, 2012 at 8:44 pm #

    Well said. I’ve been doing a lot of trails on Sundays lately and it’s so quiet up on Monte Sano that it often feels spiritual during those miles. Last week we rain 21 miles covered in mostly shade and talked about everything from chaffing to first dates. It was fantastic.

  2. Russell April 29, 2012 at 8:44 pm #

    Found church is the only church. Love it while you can.
    Russell wants you to read ..Thank You Dr. Wardynski

  3. Michelle Smiles April 29, 2012 at 8:49 pm #

    Awesome. I’m a little jealous. I hate to run but wish it was something I could learn to love.
    Michelle Smiles wants you to read ..Cassoulet – but not really


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