I went for a run this morning.
That sentence still sounds strange each time I write or speak it. Before this summer, I never went for a run “just because.” (If you don’t believe me, ask my mom.) I saw exercise as a miserable activity, an activity that didn’t do anything but put my body in pain for a portion of the day. In middle school, surrounded by my friends and excited by the progress of learning new strokes and conquering different events, I probably enjoyed swim team. But at the end of the day, exercise was not something I loved or sought. Exercise was something I endured.
Over the last few years, particularly through playing floor hockey and Ultimate Frisbee with my friends, my attitude towards exercise has taken a 180. Not only have I delighted in the games I was playing, I have also experienced the community of a sports team and the reward of pushing my body to greater endurance. Besides, the endorphins were also a plus.
This summer, when I was restless and tired of being cooped up in a house or office for hours on end, I began to go out to the local cemetery to go running, usually a couple times a week. It wasn’t that I was particularly fond of running, but I noticed that I was a happier person after I would go for a run. My patience with others was greater; the quality of my sleep was better; focusing on my work was easier.
I began to understand that exercise is something that I need, whether I enjoy it at the moment or not. In striving to become the best version of myself, how can I exercise my mind and my soul and fail to exercise my body?
Living a healthy life involves all aspects of my spiritual and corporeal person.
Living a healthy life glorifies God, Who dwells within me.
St. Paul teaches this when he writes:
“Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, which you have from God? You are not your own; you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.”
– 1 Cor 6:19-20
I'm a happier person when I go running. And I desire to glorify God not simply in my words, but also through my actions. That's why I went running this morning.