Monday, September 04, 2017

Dead man running

Look for me at 9.00 a.m. on a Saturday morning, and the chances are you’ll find me at parkrun. Here’s an insight into my internal thought process, what with me being an introvert, and all:

I. Am. Going. To. Die.

That’s it. On repeat.

The fact that I have yet to die while taking part has no bearing on this.

Likewise, neither does the fact that it is statistically highly unlikely that I will die out on the course.

Because the thought isn’t, This is going to kill me. The thought is:

I. Am. Going. To. Die.

And I am. And so are you.

Interestingly, the thought doesn’t seem to be connected to fitness, or even to running per se. I try to go out for a run, of comparable length or longer, twice during the week, and on those runs I find myself composing a sermon (I am a vicar) or working through a list of people I am praying for, or even thinking how good it is to be alive, and at some point I find that I have forgotten that my body is running at all.

But this never happens on a Saturday morning. On a Saturday morning, the sole thought, repeating like a mantra, is that I. Am. Going. To. Die.

You might think that morbid. You might think that I might run better times if I had more positive thoughts playing in my head. I think of it as a gift.

The fact is that I am mortal, and I am going to die.* However much we try to ignore it.

Those 25 minutes, give or take, on Saturday mornings put the whole of the rest of my week in focus. Which is a great trade-off.

Given that I am going to die, what does not matter? What do I need to do less, put down, or hand on?

And what really matters? What do I need to prioritise and guard the time for?

*Even if I believe that God loves me so much that he will give my life back to me.

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