"If you’ve raced with men on foot and they have worn you out, how can you compete with horses? If you stumble in safe country, how will you manage in thickets by the Jordan?" (Jeremiah 12:5). Our journey is intended to be more than simply "stumbling" through the days while the world "wears us out.” We are made to experience the thrill of "running with horses” and to navigate life amongst the "thickets." The RWH blog focuses on both the spiritual race of which Jeremiah speaks, and the physical act of running that I absolutely love. In short, it's where "the miles meet the Message" to provide insight, perspective & encouragement that might enable you & I to successfully run either of the races set before us. May our course be purposeful and may we be passionate in our pursuit of the abundant life He desires for us.

Friday, May 26, 2017

Running With "Iron Horses"

I am almost forty-nine years old. I have never ridden a train (amusement parks, zoos, and rollerskating rinks do not count). Trains have never figured into my transportation plans. Never.

Until today ...

In what was a last-minute decision, involving a complicated series of travel details, I found myself surfing the net, racking my brain, and weighing options (aka, evaluating just how cheap I could be).

I'm not exactly sure why the thought came to mind, but after hours of despair (aka, nothing was especially cheap), the Amtrak idea surfaced. Keep in mind, at this point, I had no clue as to whether trains even passed through North Carolina, much less if any stopped in the Triad and could get me to New York without too much hassle. So many questions, so little time.

Long story short, I write this post from aboard the Crescent Line, Train #20, somewhere between Trenton and Newark, New Jersey. I just might have found my new favorite mode of travel!

The clock is correct - Good Morning G'boro
Like a kid at Christmas, I sprang from bed to be the first passenger in the Greensboro terminal this morning for the 3:44 train (yeah, that's right, 3:44 a.m. But what an awesome sleep till sunrise). By 1:30 in the afternoon, I will be climbing off at Penn Station and will have had a day of great scenery - old depots, small towns, major cities, mountain views - with time to read, write, and relax; all for about the price of gas and tolls to drive.

Even better, there is something that has resonated with me about the train, particularly as a distance runner. I've realized that you just can't help but slow down and enjoy the steady pace of the trip. The train, much like how I feel on a hill, or in the later miles of a good hard training run, just keeps chugging along, head-down focused, but yet not so fast or focused, that the journey is completely missed.

It also has me thinking back to the old song Life is Like a Mountain Railway. In all the ups and down, the twists and turns, the conductor is critical to keeping us on schedule, safe, and headed to the intended destination. The song speaks to the ups and downs of life, and the conductor we choose to take us home - a clip of Steven Curtis Chapman's version is below, have a listen. (It doesn't hurt that the third line is, "we must make this run successful."

Next stop Penn Station.


From Greensboro to ... 
the lounge car,  to ...
tracking the Crescent across Virginia, to ...
our nation's capital, to ...
the city of brotherly love, to ...
stepping right out on the street of the Big Apple, to ...
catch one more train, just in time for graduation at West Point!

1 comment:

  1. Love the pass of train travel. Time to think and absorb.

    ReplyDelete