The Gift of Mobility

No, not your cell phone!

I’m talkin’ bipedal mobility – as in walking, moseying, strolling, jogging, and especially running. My grandfather is 101 now and gets around in one of those cool electric scooter-chair things you’ve always wanted to zoom around on (don’t deny it), and trust me, he understands that mobility is a gift from God.

What’s the big deal?

Running the Silver Comet 10k

Running the Silver Comet 10k

Glad you asked. Let me ‘splain.

I started running a few years ago. Why? You name it: age, weight, fitness, waistline, vanity – pretty much all of that. I never was a good runner as a kid and hated it as an adult. I hated the work, the breathlessness, the pain, the bang, bang, bang of my feet hitting pavement. But I was gaining weight and belly inches, and my ol’ faithful fitness motto which had served me so well up until about age 42 – “I lift weights so I can eat pie.” – wasn’t working out so well anymore.

So, what changed?

I read a book

I’ll be forever grateful that a friend gave me Jeff Galloway’s Book on Running. It was a fast, easy read that taught me what I was doing wrong and why running felt so awkward and painful. It showed me how to enjoy running, improve at it, and avoid injury. Over time I ran more frequently and regularly, with increasing mileage, improving form, decreasing pants size, more enjoyment and improving race times.

Now I lift weights and run so I can eat pie.

Immobility strikes

But then I injured my back. (No, not running! Well, actually it was bending over to tie my shoe before a run…but that’s another story). Where was I? – Yes, I injured my back and for a week was laid up in bed, essentially immobile. Pain kept me flat on my back and very afraid of getting up to use the bathroom.

And that my friend, was when I realized, that mobility is a gift from God that I wanted to steward and celebrate well. That realization is why I’ll be running the 2010 Marine Corps Marathon (26.2 miles – yes, the point two matters) in Washington, D.C. on October 31st. On that day, I’ll line up with 35,000 of my friends and I’ll run those miles just because I can and I’ll give God praise for the gift.

Immobility is a gift, too

Immobility stinks. But, the truth is that my immobility was a gift, too. Whether we choose to see it that way or not, it’s a logical consequence of God being in control of all things – both what we perceive to be “good”, and what we consider “bad”. Life is average. Sometimes we like it; sometimes we don’t. Sometimes we see God’s hand; sometimes we don’t. Sometimes we understand; mostly we don’t. But if we accept both with humility and trust, over time we will see how great God is and how incredibly good He is to us.

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