Intentions of the Holy Father for April

Ecology and Justice. That governments may foster the protection of creation and the just distribution of natural resources.
Hope for the Sick. That the Risen Lord may fill with hope the hearts of those who are being tested by pain and sickness.

Break My Ankle

Ok, so yesterday I had my own little minor victory. All the circumstances were perfect for me to call it off. Once I got going, I had (kinda) legit reasons for bailing out. But I didn't. I ran my first speed workout in a long, long time - since college, I think.

I got to Gaithersburg High School late from the stress of work to discover that the track there was being resurfaced and is closed for the time being. Great. The clock was ticking before my next commitment. I stood by the fence around the perimeter of the track, calculating my options. Just hop the fence and run on what appeared to be raw asphault? Hmm... Then it came to me: Bohrer Park, right next to the high school - there's a pond there. After living in the Gaithersburg area for most of my life, I had noticed just a few weeks earlier that the pond has a walking path around it. Don't developers usually plan those things to be about 1/4 or 1/2 mile around, or maybe a mile - so people can use them for walking set distances, and so on? Like Gunner's Lake pond, by my sister's house - my pedometer says that it's almost exactly one mile around. I wonder...

Trotting over to the pond at Bohrer Park, I jogged around the perimeter path. The little gadget I run with marked the path at .26 miles - good enough for government work! But now time was really not on my side. "Maybe tomorrow I can run," I began to think. And then, "No. No good. It's now or never, Haber. Let's get on this thing!" Stretch good. The asphault walking path was hot to lay on while I stretched, but not too bad. I loosened up, checked my time sheet, and ran my first speed workout in about 10 years. It killed, and felt great all at once. I ran

1/2 mile warmup

3 x (1/4 mile hard + 1/4 recovery + 1/2 mile hard + 1/4 recovery).

1/4 mile cooldown

I am happy to report that I came in below my interval time for each of the hard stretches, though honestly I set them a bit high on the paperwork. Really, though, I worked the intervals hard enough that a thought, or rather a prayer, spontaneously came to my mind that hasn't in all these ten years. Without even intending to do so, I suddenly prayed in my mind,

"Lord Jesus, please break my ankle so I can end this stupid workout! What was I thinking?!"
If memory serves, that prayer was toward the end of the second set. Toward the end of the last set, my prayer shifted, "Holy Spirit, fill my lungs and fly my legs!"

Happily, the Lover of my soul knows what's best and gives me that rather than my felt desires. My ankle is intact, you will be happy to know. For me, it was gratifying just to feel me push myself that hard. Today my legs are tired, and a nice easy 3 mile run will be a welcome change. Again, running provides me with a felt, experienced metaphor for Christian living. We might want to bail out sometimes, but it's much better to pray for help instead.

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