Wisdom for Runners and Sabbathers

I’ve been running for some 18 months now. Somewhere along the way, I transitioned from being someone who runs to being a runner. I now read about running, strategize my routes, have strong opinions about my footwear, blah blah blah.

I also seek inspiration from running and its connections to life and even to the spiritual practice of Sabbath. See if you agree about the power of these connections in a quote I ran across recently. Submitted without comment:

For some messed-up reason, our athletic egos still feel that we only get faster as we pedal harder, run quicker and swim stronger. It’s athlete psychology—all of our confidence is built around the times that we actually destroy our bodies. But it’s only the rest afterward that makes our bodies stronger.

Because of this psychological dichotomy, when and how long to rest is the hardest decision to make as an athlete. It takes a level of confidence above even the level necessary to push your body to the limit. You don’t get the endorphin release, the feeling of accomplishment, and the external and internal praise and satisfaction. All you get are feelings of losing your edge, getting out of shape and nervous anticipation.

So the next time you need to rest, whether it be for a mid-season break, post-big race, or just an easy day or two between training blocks, remember that it takes confidence to rest. Remember that it is just insecurity and a lack of endorphin release that makes you feel like you’re getting out of shape. Know that when you decide to rest, you’re making the right call—the better, smarter decision. Feel good and confident about it. You’ve done yourself a favor—you have literally just made yourself a better athlete.

-Jesse Thomas, Professional Triathlete & CEO of Picky Bars, originally read on Gibson’s Daily Running Quotes on Facebook

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About MaryAnn

pastor, writer, haphazard knitter
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4 Responses to Wisdom for Runners and Sabbathers

  1. Marci says:

    Yes. Now that I’m running again after a few years off for injuries, I run differently. I take a day off after each run. I stop when part of my body (usually my ankle, occasionally a knee) tells me to stop.
    And the realization that I’m not likely to again train for a race, that I’ll be a completely recreational, non-pavement, trails-only runner is both gift and grief.

    For me, in real ways, my time on the trails is sabbath. It is just me. I can’t answer my phone. I can’t solve anyone else’s problem. It is my time. And is often the only time I am quiet enough to hear God’s voice.

  2. Celeste says:

    Running again ( after 30 years!) is part of my Sabbatical plan starting in January. I need to find and keep a quiet space. MaryAnn- Have given 2 copies of your book away so far to women who told me you were writing from inside their brains. Need to buy more.. Thanks for this timely gift.
    Marci- love to hear from you about trail running in winter. Thinking about proper gear and avoiding slip and falls.

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