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.
Charlotte RaceFest April 18th Charlotte, NC. Finally found my next half marathon and I’m pretty excited about it. It’s exactly what I need to get myself up and running, so to speak. I have such a hard time running when I don’t’ have some sort of goal to press for. I’m also happy that I’ve found out about a few different places to run when I get to my longer runs on Saturday’s when the time gets closer. This new app for iPhone I found to help track my runs is really amazing too. It’s called Run Keeper. It tracks my distance, time, speed and pace. Even better when you upload your run to the internet, it shows the altitude you ran against the speed you were running. Also it shows when you slowed down and when you ran fastest. These are all absolutely interesting to me as I try to improve my stamina and pace. So between Run Keeper and my heart rate monitor I’m totally tracking everything possible as I train this time.
Tonight I’ve been researching dreads again. I get excited when I check out dread sights and read about the process that will work best for me and the kind of stuff that I’ll use to wash and maintain my dreads. I get a little nervous though when I look at the photo galleries. There are so many people who have dreads that I think totally look disgusting. I really hope they work for me. I know they can really look great on people as well, but tonight, so many of the pics I saw were not really good looking to me.
Looking at my calendar today I realized that I’ve got an awful lot coming up! In March I’ll get my dreads and have two retreats with my students. One of the retreats I’ll have my friend Tim as a guest speaker and musician. He’s a student at Emory and I think my students will totally enjoy having him around. Then after the retreats I’ll have my amazing friend and mentor Scott coming to visit me from Indiana. It will be great to have him around just when March Madness starts. I’ll be sure to have some time off to hangout and take him hiking out here in the beautiful mountains of western NC. Then in April I’ll have the half marathon and then later that day Bruce and Lesley will be getting married! In May I’ll be headed to the Dominican Republic with a group of people to work with orphans, school children and just try to make a difference in general. There are also two to three other friends that might try to come visit soon, could be an amazing next few months!
I’ve been checking out some cool music lately. I’ll just give you a few that have been in heavy rotation for me for the past few days/weeks. Outsider by The Daylights, Consoler of the Lonely by The Raconteurs, and Getting’ Up by Q-Tip. Thanks to Trent, Justin, and Don for sending new music my way.
I’ve been growing my hair out for about 3 months in the hopes of getting dreadlocks. People keep noticing that my hair is longer and ask if I have a plan of what I’m doing. Up to this point in my life I didn’t realize that one needed to have a plan when growing your hair out, but anyways. So each time I tell someone that I’m planning on getting dreads I cringe wondering which of the three responses I’ll get:
1) cool…that sounds awesome.
3) Awh gross those are nasty.
And then for responses 2 and 3 I end up explaining the fact that dreads are not dirty and that they can be very clean and neat and that they even have a Biblical history. As of right now, I’ve got about another month of growing ahead but have already found the place that I believe I’ll go to get my hair dreaded. For me the process of getting dreads is a journey to being okay with doing something that I want to do and understanding that it will not be accepted or condoned by everyone, even those that I care about. I’m hoping it will be freeing to know I can do it and be fine with who I am. I don’t think I’ve ever been obsessed with what people think about me, but I think this will just be another step in being able to live my life and not be controlled by other people. I’ve always believed that if someone can’t get past something about my appearance that they might not like, than they don’t really care about my insides. Now I’m not saying I don’t care about my appearance, anyone could tell you that I take pride in my appearance, but I hate to be judged by my appearance.
I’ve been thinking a lot about my future lately. It’s not been by choice, some people close to me have been really encouraging me to strive to live beyond the moment and learn to also think a little more about the future. Living in the moment and being where I am and really trying to enjoy it is something that I feel I’m actually kind of good at. The future isn’t something I fear or not ever think of, it’s just more of something that I feel like can be a distraction to doing what needs to be done here and now. So my thoughts for the future have started to include seminary. I know that could be surprising because I’ve always teased and called it cemetery because I’ve believed it was where people went to become mindless robots without passion for life. But at this point in life, I actually feel comfortable enough in my own skin to think that going there would be a challenge and offer some of the conversations that I’d really like to have. Now the challenge of figuring out how to get there, I don’t even have my bachelor’s degree. So I’m looking into getting my college transcripts and finding out what I need to do to make that happen and then to where I would like to go for this next step. I really enjoy education and look forward to it, but I’m not sure how I’ll do something like this with my current schedule. This should be interesting.
I have to be honest that I’ve only run twice in the new year. Today I’m blocking out time in my weekly schedule to run 3 times a week and work out 2-3. My great friend Randy was here for the past few days and we had a great time as usual. We took some pictures while we were hanging out and looking at them I totally realized that my lack of running is taking it toll on me. I really enjoy being in shape and I’m determined to get back to it. Found a great website called Run Keeper that works with my iPhone to track my progress as well.