Monday, July 28, 2008
The Dirty Feet Group
The majority of runners stick to roads in neighborhoods or streets in town--familiar territory. Last year, some wonderful and daring running buddies and I caught onto something different--trail running. Oh, do I have some stories to share!! This running on trails has become something precious to us. It's an opportunity to be in nature enjoying God's creation. We'll be running down a trail and suddenly stop and just listen. You can only hear the sound of your breathing! Awesome! No cars or people!! Oh, I still run the roads, but I am most delighted to be on a trail!
Saturday(don't you just love how it took two paragraphs for me to get back to the original thought?), Robin, Jackie, Scott, Mike, Chris, and I headed up to our local state park to run the trails. It was HOT and HUMID to say the least!! Chris ran trails for the first time in his life! You rock, Chris! We planned on running two loops. After the first loop, we rehydrated and ate salty snacks. We took off again for loop number 2. That's when I really started feeling the effects of the weather. Many moons ago, like in high school, I suffered from heat exhaustion. Once that happens, you're always at a risk. It is not fun! We began our climb and were doing well until cramps in my feet and calves set in--oh, my word! I could not walk much less run! We made it to a stream where we splashed the refreshing water all over us. I wear a bandanna-a do rag-to keep my head cooler because I saturate it in water. I do take precautions!! We kept climbing. My friends were wonderful! They kept asking how I was doing and if we needed to stop. I had to stop several times to catch my breath. This is the type of camaraderie that you experience on a trail run. You're out there in the middle of no where! You have to depend on each other. Chris and I had been talking about our faith and how God sees the big picture even if we do not. As I was struggling with the pain of the cramps, I finally focused on God. I needed a verse that was hidden in my heart to get my mind off of the discomfort. And...God is sooo good!! Phil. 4: 13, "I can do everything through Him that gives me strength." popped into my sweaty head! I knew with that strength from Him that I could make it to the top of the mountain. I just kept repeating that scripture over and over.
God is so faithful. He desires to be so intimate with us that we will crave His Word and hang onto it as our lifeline. I needed that reminder on Saturday's run. How do you satisfy that spiritual hunger in your life?
To conclude the running story: I made new friends who drove me down to the bottom of the mountain! I left a puddle of sweat in their nice SUV!! I was put out that I didn't complete the distance I had hoped for, but, hey, there will be other days! When the rest of the group finished, we snacked on delicious watermelon (thanks, Robin!) We were absolutely filthy from the dirt and sweat. When we took off our trail shoes and socks, we were just nasty! So, Mike dubbed our group "The Dirty Feet Group." I look forward to more time on the trails with this group of dedicated runners and another nugget of Truth in my heart.