A couple of weeks ago our church began a new Bible study called Run for God that couples spiritual endurance-themed devotions with training for a 5 K which we will run together in April. The response has been overwhelming and in our tiny town our group looks like this:
It is a given this picture delights me. It represents young and old, church members and community members, and those whose bodies hurt and don’t hurt. The former outnumbers the latter if our groaned laps are any indication. I hear a splinter cell Bible study is being formed called, “Eating Cheez-Its for Jesus”. It has legs. Flabby, cellulite-ridden legs but I’m becoming more and more comfortable with those because, y’all. My shins are ruined. It’s my fault for running in bad shoes on concrete for the first week. Luke’s knees are also a wreck so you can’t even imagine the whining that is going on especially on Saturday mornings when we meet to train at 7:30 a.m.
Luke and I are also trying to eat a little more healthy during this process. How’s that going? On our way home from running last night he said, “Pull in at the store so I can get some ice cream. Ummm, not to eat. To put my knee in.” So we soaked our knees in butter pecan and chocolate syrup and felt instantly better.
But here’s the thing, you can’t be a big baby when an 85-year-old woman is not only showing up for the Bible Study but running. Mrs. Green has always been an inspiration to all of us for many reasons but it is confirmed now that she is the stuff of legend. We have developed a code word for whiners, “I.G.” which are Mrs. Green’s initials. So basically, take your ibuprofen and suck it up because if I.G. can do it, so can we.
Which is the point of this entire experience for me thus far. We are better together. We do things in community we can never accomplish alone. We bear one another’s burdens, share our ankle braces and compression socks, spur each other on when we want to quit, and run the race set before us shoulder to shoulder.
Church together is a beautiful thing, shin splints and all.
(I love you, IBC. Can’t imagine the race with anyone but you.)