You’ll hear people tell you to “follow your heart.” It is bad advice. The Bible tells us that the heart is the seat of our decision making, our capacity for free will; but also that it is unreliable. Don’t follow your heart, lead it; train it, according to wisdom.
With my heart of hearts, I want to go running. Because I love being with the people I run with; because it indirectly improves so many other areas of my life; and just because it is a joyful response to any glorious autumn day. With my heart of hearts, I want to go running.
But with a heavy heart, I need to say no to running for a season. To say no to the wanting to say yes, when my friends say, “we’re going running—who’s in?”
I have damaged something in my knee. There is a lateral weakness there. Last night, I was a looong way behind a pack I should, ordinarily, be right up there with; pushing through pain I ought to be listening to.
Today, a friend who has just torn his meniscus got in touch. Another friend, who ran with me last night, got in touch, to say I’d been on their mind all day. Everyone needs people like that in their lives.
With a heart so sad it is in my boots, I need to put my running shoes in the closet and walk away. For now, and for as long as it takes. If I’m lucky, my body will regenerate itself (they're brilliant like that). If not, I might need to seek professional help (they’re brilliant like that).
But, if you catch me flirting with going for a run, please help me to not follow my heart.