Long Distance Running

Running Again by Louis Holstein

I started running again. In my training I change the route almost every run, but in my long distance runs I am always required to run over the place where I fell. I don’t need the reminder. The scars on my knees are reminders enough, yet the route reminds me again.

“See the lip in the sidewalk? That’s where you fell. That was where you stopped running for two months and started dealing with what would be your housing crisis. Remember that?”

Early Morning Selfie.

Early Morning Selfie.

June and July 2019 were one for the books. I know I already wrote about it, but as I have begun running again I have realized, sometimes the best thing one can do is just that: start again. I’m sure there will be posts in the future where I discuss in more detail my disappointment with God and his letting me fall, but for now I’m grateful He is allowing me to get up and run again. I was a little over the half-way point in my long distance training when I fell.

My big goal this year was to run a marathon and with wounds on my knees and hands, and the stress at home, I figured it just wasn’t going to happen. When I decided I would start training again, I counted the weeks to see where the training fell in proportion to when the marathon race is. The training fell perfectly within the allotted time: 18 weeks of training, with the race in 19 weeks.

Open up and let your heart live.

Open up and let your heart live.

I’m still not sure why I fell, or why we had to leave our home of 4 and 1/2 years, but this I know: I am training again and we have a new home where new memories will be made (maybe even the birth of second child). In the words of one of my favorite musicals, “all that seemed wrong is now right.” We’re okay. We’re running again.

“So it's
Into the woods
You go again,
You have to
Every now and then.
Into the woods,
No telling when,
Be ready for the journey.”

Running and Falling by Louis Holstein

“True Vine” [I am called to abide in Him, though sometimes He is hard to follow, or hard to see, yet I will still abide in Him. He will see me through.]  Acrylic and pastels on stretch canvas.

“True Vine” [I am called to abide in Him, though sometimes He is hard to follow, or hard to see, yet I will still abide in Him. He will see me through.]

Acrylic and pastels on stretch canvas.

I fell on my run last week. Skin versus concrete is never a fair match. With a bloody hand and knees, I paused the podcast I was listening to and the runner app I was using and picked myself off the ground. I examined my wounds. I’ve written recently about the past few months journey with the Lord. He has asked us to drink a cup we didn’t want to drink from, and it has been hard. It is interesting how many thoughts rush in when we are wounded. As I got up from my fall I became frustrated. I had run this route too many times to count and I had never tripped and fallen before. So why now?

It is ironic, really, because during that run I was purposely going slower. I wanted to enjoy the process, breathe the oxygen, feel it in my lungs, give attention to my legs, and let go of my anxieties. It was in this calm state that I fell. It was in these rush of thoughts that I realized God allowed me to fall or perhaps caused me to fall. I know when we use the language “fallen” it usually has something to do with sin, but I’m not talking about sin I’m talking about God getting our attention. That’s what makes following God so challenging, He rarely works within our plan or expectations. He is the God who obliterates expectations. 

It could be argued I’m making a freak accident way too spiritual, and maybe I am, but this fall spoke to me. It reminded me that no matter how I think I am doing, God knows me better than I know myself. He knows what I need in order to grow and become more like him. I may think I am being reflective,  but He knows what is going to truly make me reflective. I may think I have surrendered something, but He knows when I have fully surrendered. I may think I have paused, but He knows.

If it is God allowing the fall, so be it.

⁃ Louis