Last night was Shrove Tuesday (or Fat Tuesday, depending on your um, faith) which means today is Ash Wednesday and the official start of the season of Lent. Typically folks give something up between now and Easter Sunday, to honor the 40 days and 40 nights Jesus spent fasting in the Judean desert. And while there is certainly something worthy about giving up favorite things, avoiding vices, or temporarily abandoning bad habits, I’ve found it can be equally beneficial to take something on.Plus this can act as a good excuse to force yourself to do something you’ve always wanted, but were too scared, lacked the time, the motivation etc. (Because hey, if you can’t do it for yourself, at least do it for God.)
I’ve always wanted to run in the Peachtree Road Race. I fondly remember when I was a little boy… coming to Atlanta (from Birmingham) for my dad to run in it. The crowds, getting to go with family friends, the warm summer morning, the t-shirt Dad got to keep (and wear over the years) … it’s one of my most glowing childhood memories. One would think, given my affinity to the city of Atlanta and love for nostalgia, I would have run it 10 times by now.
But I haven’t… because there are few things in life I hate, more than running. Not only do I find it painful and boring, I’m am horrible at it. Like 15-minute mile (note, mile: singular) horrible. So the idea of running some 6 miles and being timed (oh no!) is nothing short of terrifying.
But, this is something I want to do. I want to be in better shape. I want to find enjoyment in running. I want to get that t-shirt. I want to say I did it. So this is the year for Lent I’m committing myself to running the Peachtree, and have slowly (very slowly), started training. I’m hoping my distance and speed will increase, my time on the big day will be respectable, but in all honesty, I just want to finish.
Here’s hoping this Lenten season, will help with that.