Dave's Top 5 Running Rules!
#5. Stay Alert - Running requires a certain level of focus that can easily be lost when you begin to introduce mp3's, breathtaking scenery, and daydreaming. If you are not aware of your surroundings, you will pay the price. Road surfaces, trail debris, traffic, animals, bikers and other runners, can all sneak up on you and create a situation. Additionally, your body is your primary equipment. Listen and be aware of what it is trying to tell you. Early warning signs often point to potential serious issues. By staying alert, you are much more able to enjoy running for a long time to come.
1 Peter 5:8-9 "Be alert, vigilant and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith..." Scripture routinely warn us to be alert and watchful (Eph 6:18, 1 Thes 5:16, Mark 13:33). We are reminded that if we are not watchful, or on guard, temptations can ultimately devour us. We give in and lose our ability to continue running as we once had (Hebrews 12:1).
#4. Identify Yourself - I run everywhere, literally. I rarely travel without my Brooks. I am also never without my ID. Following a dehydration episode years ago, I decided that I should carry, or at least wear, some form of identification when I go on a run. Currently I wear a wrist band that includes my mantra on the plate, along with the basics; contact numbers, blood type, allergies, etc. I highly encourage this practice, just in case. From a health ailment to a serious accident, it really could be the difference in life or death, (especially when running the banks of the Amazon).
John 13:35 "By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another." How about that as our identification. Wearing it when we go out could certainly make an impact.
#3. Be Kind- One way we make running a purposeful pursuit is through our actions and attitudes. I am a firm believer that every encounter along the path deserves a "good morning" or "hey guys" or, at the very least, the runners wave. Another aspect of this rule comes out on race day. Most importantly, ALWAYS thank the volunteers. When they hand you a cup of water, say thank you. Or better yet, tell them how they just made your day. This is also a perfect opportunity to encourage others and lift spirits. Oh, and no matter what, no PR (personal record) is ever worth elbowing your way through a crowd in order to make the pass.
Ephesians 4:32 "Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as Christ forgave you." Again, scripture is filled with the expectation that we are to be kind to one another. It is an indicator of our love for people. Paul tells us to be kind rather than paying a wrong for a wrong (1 Thes 5:15) and then, (2 Timothy 2:24), we are told that kindness enables us to teach and prevents us from quarreling.
#2. Trust the Plan- The most repeated phrase that you will ever hear me say on the subject of running is to "trust the plan!" This is because I know it works. The trainers, coaches and researchers that develop these plans are much smarter and experienced than I am on the subject. They know what they are talking about. If you follow the plan for days to run, distance and pace, you will be successful. Often it does not make sense. You start to think you can do more, or that the plan is not created with you in mind. You do your own thing, and then ....... injury, fatigue, failure. Trust the plan, it has your best interests at heart and can guide you through a successful training cycle.
1 John 2:4-5 "The man who says, "I know him," but does not do what he commands, the truth is not in him. But if anyone obeys his word, God's love is truly made complete in Him" I think the parallel is pretty clear on this one. God's Word will guide and direct with our best intentions in mind. The more we trust, the better equipped we are to travel this journey. When we think we know better than His training plan, we often find that our witness is impaired, our daily walk is fatigued and we are faced with a failed attempt to live as we should. We might not always understand it, but we must trust the plan!
#1. Have FUN!- Seriously, have fun! Enjoy all the benefits of better health, lower stress and renewed energy. Take in the sights and sounds that can only be found off the beaten path and while on the run. Laugh, observe, think, smile....have fun. We are never promised tomorrow, so for today give thanks and delight in your ability to remain in motion.
John 10:10 "The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” Some translations say, “life more abundantly.” To me, that screams of a desire that our Heavenly Father has in our experiencing His creation with purpose, adventure, and yes, FUN! Of course, our journey might not always be smooth or comfortable, but when fun is not an option, there is always a joy and contentment that can not be taken away.