I hate running. In fact, my friend Mickey had to call me this morning to get me out of bed so that I would go to the gym.
Why did she call me before 6 a.m. to go to the gym? She somehow convinced me to train with her for the Nashville Country Music Half Marathon in April. No big deal.
Excuse me, WHAT?!
I’ve lost my mind.
We both have.
We’re not runners.
I probably should have started with a 5K, but I did one of those last year. I mean, go big or go home, right? What’s 13.1 miles, anyway? Let me tell you: it’s a looooooong way. Especially for someone who’s not a runner.
Once I told people that I was going to run the half marathon (and they stopped laughing and realized that I was being serious), people kept asking me to run 5Ks with them because apparently now “I’m a runner.” What did I say?
“I’m not paying any more money to run. Running should be free.”
After paying for the training group, new shoes, orthotic inserts for the shoes, socks, pants, underwear, sports bras, a hat (because it’s been 20 degrees in the mornings here in Nashville), headbands, shirts, and basically everything from the running store, I was done.
Working out hurts. Every muscle (including ones I didn’t know existed) hurts. Good grief! And you know what’s ironic? I tried to blame the hurt on my shoes, the treadmill, the track, the elliptical, and even the gym. One day, I turned to Mickey and said, “I’m pretty sure we’re the problem.”
I was right.
Did you read the title of this post? I’m a workout hypocrite. I talk about honoring God in all of these important areas of my life, but I’ve neglected taking care of the body that God has given me.
It’s tough to write this post because it’s personal. It’s a struggle for me on a daily basis, but the reason why it’s such a struggle is because I’ve tried to do it by myself and for myself. It’s not enough.
I can’t want it bad enough. It has to be woven right into who I am and into my relationship with Christ. My biggest struggle is something that other people can see, and that’s really hard for me. I can’t hide the fact that I’ve neglected my body—everyone can see it.
“Trust in the Lord, and do good; dwell in the land and befriend faithfulness.
Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.
Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him, and he will act.”
I’m begging the Lord every day to give me what it takes and make me more like Him as I do this. It isn’t easy. I had to ask God for a reason bigger than myself to run (you can read about that reason on my own blog).
It’s way more than just physical—it’s also mental and spiritual. I am pushing myself farther than I think I can go, which is the mental part of it all. It’s spiritual because one way of expressing my love for the Lord is through treating my body well. Obedience and surrender spring out of my love for Him.
As the passage above says, I’m befriending faithfulness and committing my way to the Lord. He’s full of grace and always faithful, but I have to be faithful to what He has called me to do. 1 Corinthians 6:12-20 speaks to this directly, and gives us a clear word about how we treat our bodies.
Maybe you’re not a workout hypocrite, but is there some other area of your life where you’ve been a hypocrite? Wherever you are in this journey, don’t give up. Don’t be discouraged. I’m in this with you, and I’ve got too many reasons not to quit now (including the fact that I just told all of you women from all over the world that I’m doing this. Accountability, right?).
What are some helpful things you’ve done along the way?
Mary Margaret Collingsworth is an Event Project Coordinator at LifeWay. When she’s not gearing up for a Half Marathon (or working at LifeWay), you can find her reading a good book, grabbing coffee with a friend, or watching Friday Night Lights. Read more from Mary Margaret at her blog, Story of My Life, or on Twitter @marymargaretc.