When it comes to training, a runner is a lot like a tree. A tree wishing to grow taller must first grow its roots and its trunk strong before stretching its limbs into the sky. Today marked my first interval workout in over 6 weeks. It has been six weeks of base training, long runs, and recovery runs with nothing exciting, other than the love of just running. These weeks may have been boring to me, but they were exactly what I needed. I had grown as tall as I could with my racing and needed to come back to the roots; I needed to rebuild a stronger base before I could embark on my next journey of serious training and hopefully racing. Six weeks I rebuilt the body from the ground up to a point where I was strong aerobically and had the general strength under wraps. Now, it is time to reach into the sky and go for new training, racing, and hopefully glory that I can give to God.
The metaphor of the tree growing its roots stronger in comparison to a runner building his base also applies to another situation. Go and make disciples of all nations. Matthew 28: 19-20. I read "Follow Me" by David Platt this summer, and it made me think more about making disciples and how important it is. Then, this fall my friend Janean asked me to join a group of friends in reading "Multiply" by Francis Chan. Both of these books talk about going out and making disciples, spreading the word, and sharing the love of Christ with others. The questions that I have asked myself many times are whether I am strong enough to go out and make disciples, do I know enough, and am I ready for such a command. The answer I found is, "Yes," but it hasn’t always been, "Yes." I first had to work on my roots, I had to build my strength up before I reached out.
So here I am, typing with tightness in my legs that burns yet feels truly refreshing. Only one interval in the books, but I am on my way. I put in the time to build my roots, and now I am aching to go faster. With interval training back in the plan, I also must be looking to race. Hard work without direction is simply pointless so I have narrowed down my plan to 1 or 2 races in early December that could be anywhere from 3K through 13.1. Depending on how the next week of training goes, I will determine how long or short of a race to aim for.
Running without direction is the same as discipling without direction. I can run around until I am blue in the face, screaming of God's love, but that will not lead people to Christ, or at least not in a very effective manner. When I meet someone who is struggling or does not even have a relationship with Christ, I must have direction. Letting them know of God's love, patience, and forgiveness is essential, but doing so in an organized fashion will have greater results. A story out of order will make no sense to my friend who is intrigued by the story of God. Having a base and having a direction will allow me to be the disciple Christ called me to be, just as having the base and the direction will allow me to be the runner that God has called me to be.
The seasons are changing, and so are our lives, but God's Love is not changing. May a change in the season spark a change in you, but for the change to last, for success to come, don't forget to build your base.