woman running in sunset

It was the first day of track practice. I was a freshman in high school. This year I was going to run the 800 meter. But today I was in for a surprise I would carry for years to come.

My track coach guided us to dirt trails in the woods behind the school. He said, “Ok guys, we’re going to do the three-mile loop before we practice on the track.” I looked at my friend with wide eyes and whispered, “I’m a sprinter. I’m not sure I can do this.” My stomach fluttered. I took a deep breath. My coach instructed, “Pace yourself.” I had no idea what he meant.

How running changed my life

That day was the start of a new habit I would use and apply to my personal life, work, and spiritual arena. Who knew running would be so beneficial for not only the body but for the mind. My legs were definitely tired that day, but more so I was amazed I was actually running a long-distance!


My self-doubt turned into self-confidence. As I practiced long-distance running I began to feel it change me. It changed not just my physique, but how I thought.

I learned how to think about nothing; yet also how to think and solve problems. Nature was more noticeable. Creative thinking came naturally. I gained more confidence in school, and I had more courage… all because of running.

The Pastor had it wrong

Just knowing I had an outlet (running) for hard days, was comforting. I knew that running may not solve all my problems, but it would get my blood flowing and mind working on how to understand my challenges.

My Pastor preached awhile ago about how we can help the world. He mentioned during his message that he was a runner and how much he depended on his runs. He said running helped clear his mind and solve problems. I could relate.

But he said something I disagreed with. Nonchalantly he slipped in there, “Running doesn’t help the world”. Well, that caught my attention and I wasn’t going to let that fly.

Slight correction

That afternoon I e-mailed him and said, “Pastor, you say a lot of things that are right, but today you got something a little wrong…about running. It may not be the activity that helps the world, but it’s what the activity does for the person who can change the world.”

If you’re not a runner or can’t run due to injury that’s okay. Any activity outside will work. Try walking, cycling, hiking, or even gardening. These simple activities do more than you think. Keep at it, you’ll see.

By CT Copyright © 2016 More Than Existence All Rights Reserved.

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