I am a runner…
…and a different person than I was 9 years ago so when I overheard a conversation today I got a little worked up ~ hence this blog post.
I am currently at my synod’s Fall Theological Conference. This is an event that is held every year where the pastors of the SW MN Synod get together for some learning and fellowship. This year we are in Watertown, SD. We start on Sunday evening and wrap up at noon on Wednesday. On Monday afternoon they let us go for a few hours. Some take naps, some get some work done, some (like me) go running (or do some form of exercise).
As we were leaving our afternoon session I overheard a conversation ahead of me that went something like this:
Person A to person B: So…are you going for a walk this afternoon?
Person B (with a little laugh): Does it look like I exercise?
Person A & B: (laugh)
(It didn’t look like person A exercised either)
This was the point when I wanted to say,”Well, maybe you should“…but I bit my tongue. Now I am not trying to be mean or pass judgement or anything, but I worry about people like person B, because I used to be like that.
Nine years ago (while on internship) I was seventy pounds heavier. I didn’t exercise, I ate lots of greasy fast food, could easily finish off a large pizza without any guilt and considered salads disgusting. I was grossly out of shape and probably a ticking time bomb; a heart attach waiting to happen. Never mind the fact that my dad is diabetic (adult onset). I had all the risk factors of major health problems. While on internship I had a little scare as I started experiencing some chest pains that lead me to ER and an overnight hospital stay. Luckily it turned out to be nothing, but it got me thinking.
When I returned from internship for my senior year in seminary in 2003 I finally got my act together. I started exercising (mostly treadmill running) and eating healthy. I limited my fast food and practiced portion control. And…as I was losing weight…I developed a taste for salads and other healthy foods (weird, I know). I lost 70 pounds from August 2003 to July 2004. I went from a 42 inch waist and XL clothing to a 33 inch waist and M to L clothing. I looked better and I felt better. And I never want to go back to where I was 9 years ago.
I guess the reason why I am writing this is because I want to urge all people to get out there and get some exercise. I am not saying you have to sign up for a marathon but at least go for a walk. I am not saying you need to go out and buy expensive running shoes but at least get moving. Start somewhere. If you are a “person B” get out and do something.
God gave us these bodies to care for. We are a temple. God’s precious creation. But if that is not enough for you then consider this: There is someone in your life who loves you and would rather you stay around for a while. Please don’t take your health for granted. Don’t wait for a health scare to kick you into gear.
So as I sit here ranting I am wishing I had said something to person B. And since I did not see their face I will never get a chance. My only hope is that someone in his life will prompt him to get out there and do something. A 5 to 10 minute walk is better than nothing.
So since I can’t say anything to person B, I guess I have you. Please get out there and do something. Take care of yourself for the praise and glory of God and for those loved ones in your life. And if you want, give me a call. I’ll run (or walk) with you.