Fellas, Let’s Run

“Therefore since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us run with perseverence the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith.” -Hebrews 12:1

So much of life is out of our control. We can’t control whether or not it will rain tomorrow or be sunny. We can’t control if people will like us or not. We can’t control if our employers will truly appreciate the work we do. We can’t control if a loved one’s health will hold up. 

But there is a lot we can control. 

Take our health, for instance. 

At 40, my appetite hasn’t taken a break, but boy my metabolism has. And with this has come the dreaded “dad bod”. Oh it’s painful. 

Now have given up the dream of resembling Daniel Craig as James Bond (but I do my best impression). And I no longer expect to pass as Adam Levine (but you should hear me attempt some notes in the shower- the neighbors’ dogs start howling). But I can get in decent shape and take care of myself. And I owe it to myself and to my family to do it. 

I owe it to them to have the energy needed to join them in their activities, play with them and fully engage them.  I owe it to them to manage my stress level so that I’m a compassionate, patient, and fully present husband and father. I owe it to them to at least do my part to increase the chances of being around as long as I can to share in life’s precious moments: dances, important games, retirement, weddings, and other important life events. 

I can’t necessarily control my health, but I can do my best to manage it. I can eat better. I can get as much sleep as I can. And I can commit to exercising. 

So today I’m committing to getting back in shape. I’m going to train for a half marathon in April and I’d like to invite anyone who would like to join me to do so. 

Anyone can join us but I’d especially like  to invite the dads. Now I’m not talking about you dads who are already fit beasts (you know who you are!). By all means you can certainly join us. But my hope is to engage the average guy like me who needs to arrest the physical decline that can accompany middle age. Let’s do it not just for ourselves, but for our families and loved ones. 

We all have busy lives, so training for anything can be challenging.  So a convenient way to keep each other accountable is by harnessing technology. Get a Fitbit (www.fitbit.com) and let’s connect there. We can engage in some friendly competition but also encourage one another. 

And if running isn’t your thing, try something else active. Maybe you’ve always wanted to start biking. Maybe martial arts is your thing. Or swimming. Or hiking. Whatever it is, let’s get active and let’s get healthier.  My friends Mike, Amy, and Paula have launched a much larger effort in the Charlotte area to make the city more active- check out their efforts at Active Charlotte Alliance (www.activecharlotte.org). They offer tons of opportunities and ideas to get more active. 

It might be tough, but the rewards will be so worth it. Life is short, fellas, so let’s make it count. And besides, we have each other- clouds of witnesses! to run with preserverence. 

I hope you’ll join me.