Running has been coming along pretty well. Having my friend Trent training for a half-marathon and using my new toys (Run keeper app on iPhone) to help track my training has been very effective. This past Saturday I went to run in an addition that someone had recommended I run some of my longer runs in called Biltmore Forest. She told me that it was a low traffic area and that it was a beautiful addition as well. I was excited to check it out and it was cool to finally run somewhere new. It was a little hillier than I had expected, but I was focusing on keeping my head up and breathing correctly so i wasn’t too distracted by the obsticles and instead enjoyed the new scenery. It turned out to be an amazing run and today was a good run was well. My time is improving and I’m seeing progress in all areas.
Today during my run I spent time reflecting on a movie that I started watching called Lord Save Us From Your Followers. It’s a documentary style film about the division that faith is having on America. Although I haven’t seen Religulous yet, I gather that it might be in the same vein except with the end point being that faith shouldn’t be given up on. Religulous is next on my Netflix cue, so I’ll be checking that out this week as well. As I ran I just kept thinking about how different this world might be if Christians were as passionate about loving others as trying to win arguments. What if we stopped trying to convince people that we are “right” and instead lived what we believe. How different might things be?
Today was Ash Wednesday. Last year I decided to participate in Lent differently than I had in the past. I decided to focus on doing more spiritual emphasis than abstaining from something. This year I plan on doing the same. Of the four New Year resolutions I have taken on, I’ve done really well with three of the four. Reading, running, and blogging have been very regular but blogging hasn’t taken off as well as I’d hoped. I really think that for me journaling is an essential spiritual discipline. It is where I can be totally honest with myself and really express myself in though and prayer. This year for lent my plan is to journal every night, reading through the gospel of Matthew, and reading Jesus wants to save Christians by Rob Bell and Don Golden. To make time for this I’ve limited myself to only two TV shows a day. Although I don’t like to admit it, TV can be a real time waster for me. I guess my computer can be as well, maybe next year I’ll reduce my computer usage.
Favorite song of the moment…Use Somebody by Kings of Leon.
So the half marathon training is up and going for almost a full week now and I have a blister that resembles New Hampshire on my left foot to prove it. Today I talked with my friend Trent, who is racing in the Indy Mini in May, about training regiments and I’m considering looking into a different training schedule after looking at the one that he is following. This is only my second half marathon, so I figured I’d ask for some advice from some other half marathon runners on their training regimen. So if you consider yourself a runner and have thoughts on training, do share your insights with me. I’d also love to hear some recommendations on music I could add to my run iZZy run playlist on my iPhone. Of course run iZZy run is my tribute to the Simon Pegg movie run fatboy run. The movie is pretty funny and can serve as inspiration to get you running, but still doesn’t hold a candle to my favorite Simon Pegg movie…Shawn of the Dead.
Yesterday I met with the team of people who will be going down to the Dominican Republic with me in May for a service trip. It was nice to catch up to some people who went last year as well as meet a few new faces. The most exciting part for me was that I decided to start sponsoring a child that lives down in the area that we work in. The sponsorship, throught Solid Rock Missions, provides education and materials for the student for the entire year. I’ll be able to correspond with him and because of our missions’ trip, I’ll be able to meet him and see him every year that I make the trip. (Totally cool thing, his name is Noe Israel. Awesome, cause my Dad’s name is Israel and mine is as well.) This is really meaningful to me because part of my personal revolution has been to try to know people who are in poverty. The inspiration for this comes from Shane Claiborne who in The Irresistible Revolution said that many people are so far removed from poverty that it has no affect on them. Jesus said we will always have the poor among us, and many people have used that as an excuse for not doing anything about poverty. But Shane’s take on it is that we are never supposed to allow ourselves to be removed from those who are in need. This makes so much sense to me, because if I am sitting and talking with the widow Ms. Maylee or corresponding with Noe Israel, it helps me to be conscious of the difference between my wants and my needs. I’m not saying that we should do away with all our wants, but I always want to think about the fact that I, little old me, can have an effect on those around me and the world by using the gifts and resources that I’ve been given. I want to know when I die that I have not just gone through the motions, but that I have made the most of my life. For me that includes helping others and not one day realizing the difference I could have made if I had bought one less THING and instead helped to feed or clothe someone in need. I’m not out to become a saint, but to become more aware of the world I live in and to be active in making it better.
Ever heard of skype? A co-worker of mine has been using it to talk to her daughters who are out of the country as well as her father who lives across the country. So I’ve been thinking about checking it out to use to talk to my loved ones that don’t live close. Any pro’s or con’s I should know about?
Final note…Totally excited to check out Demetri Martin’s new show Wednesday night (2/11/09 10:30pm) on Comedy Central. He is comic genius in my book.
I have mixed feelings about New Years Resolutions. I remember the many times that I’ve made a resolution and forgotten it the next day and so I think they are useless. But there is a part of me that really loves reflection on life and then making some decisions to try to do something different. Life is a habit after all and we need to live like it. If we don’t like who we are or where we are headed, we need to make new habits to take us where we want to go. Maybe a little simplistic, but i still think there’s a lot of truth in there.
Last year i ran my first half marathon and found it very rewarding mentally, physically and spiritually. So this year I’m making a resolution to run, read, journal, and blog. I’m currently looking for a race to run in May or June, I’ve found a few books that I’m planning to read, received a new journal from a friend, and here I am starting my blog. So i think I’m ready to take on my resolution.
I just recently bought my first purchase using woot.com. It’s a heart monitor and watch monitor. I’m hoping that it will be a slight source of inspiration to kick start myself back into running. I’m also counting on the fact that if I’m journaling, like i do when I read, that I’ll have something of a source for inspiration for my blogging.
So here’s to a new year of attempting to live life with purpose and passion.