A couple of weeks ago, an old friend signed up for my blog and after doing so received the obligatory confirmation email sent from The Reasons I Run website. Later that day, she sent me a text asking if I saw the irony in the blog’s confirmation response. My friend thought it ironic that the automatic reply has the title “The Reasons I Run”, especially since its coming from a person who hasn’t really been able to run for the better part of a decade. To be honest, I’d never thought about it since my intention for creating the website was to promote my book of the same title. Still, her text caused me to pause and reflect on her words.
I get what she was saying. The book’s title, “The Reasons I Run”, is stated in the present tense. And, when I wrote the book, the title was chosen purposefully―with the intention to signify that, yes I still considered myself a runner, even if I couldn’t necessarily participate to the desired extent. And, with the passage of time, it’s easy to see how people might dissociate me with running. Herein, however, lays the divergence between my own thoughts and those of the vast majority.
I am of the opinion that people often believe that something “is”, even when it simply isn’t true. As an example; consider how few professed Christians actually ever exhibit behaviors which indicate to non-Christians that they are true followers of Christ. Yet, these same Christians show up in countless numbers for the “important” church services. My wife calls them the C & E people―letters denoting that they attend primarily on Christmas and Easter. I suggest the same thing can happen with any activity. Too often people profess to be something, while participating minimally in the requisite actions, and exhibiting behaviors which certainly don’t reflect that they’re really “all in.”
Perhaps it might be a good idea for each of us to occasionally reflect on our own lives, and ask ourselves if we are who we profess to be. In a lifestyle like running―and yes, it is a lifestyle―the folks who are all in (just as with Christians) will reflect the activity. The nice thing about running is one need only to look in a mirror. A person’s physique is a strong indicator, as running hones the body to near Michelangelo perfection. But, for the folks who need additional proof, consider your racing and training pace which is dictated by one’s running fitness.
Back to the paradox of my book’s title and blog’s signup response; at this point, I’m forced to admit I am no longer a runner. Four surgeries over the past six years, and countless hours spent rehabbing my knee, have yet to produce the requisite results. Maybe I will someday enjoy the privilege of returning to my beloved sport, and maybe not. But, I will continue to strive to make it so. Now, let me ask this, are you truly a runner? Or, are you one of those “C & E folks”? They’re the ones who have to tell everyone they’re Christians, because their activities and behaviors don’t indicate it.