One Small Thing: Running a "Marathon"

The sticker is peeling off, and is becoming less true.

In "As Good as It Gets" Melvin Udall (played by Jack Nicholson) explains to his date how much he hates taking pills. Emphasizing the word hate, he tells her that he started taking a prescribed pill only because he wants to become a better man, for her sake.

Well, I hate running. I hate it almost as much as I hate asking for money. Picture Jack Nicholson telling you this in the gruffest of his voices:
"I hate running. Very dangerous thing, running. HATE. I'm using the word hate here about running. Hate."

Get the picture? Or do I need to paraphrase Jack Nicholson lines from:
  • "The Shining" ("I'm not going to hurt you. I'm just going to run..."); or,
  • "A Few Good Men" ("You don't want to run because deep down in places you don't like to talk about at parties..."); or,
  • "Batman" ("Haven't you ever heard of the healing power of running?"); or
  • "The Departed" ("Lot of people had to run for me to be me. You wanna be me?")?

If I hate running so much, why did I make it a goal to run 26.2 miles this month? (Of course, I mean as a total for this month, not an entire marathon at once. Let's not be silly.) And why did I pass that goal, and run 28.9 miles in July? (That's 110.7% effort, by the way.)

Because I need to be a better man, a more healthy man, for the sake of my family.

I am not training to run races, or to prove that I'm some kind of athletic stud. I just want to improve and maintain my health so I can live a full and fun life with my wife and kids, and so that I can carry out the ministry that God has for me. (Edit: I also want to get people to stop pointing out that I'm gaining weight.)

The Benefits of Exercise

We all know that sufficient exercise (along with a good diet) leads to weight loss. And we know that exercise strengthens the most important muscle in your body, your heart. And there are other benefits of exercise.

Exercise has been shown to reduce the effect of stress, by reorganizing brain structure. Active (versus inactive) mice are better able to control their reaction to a stressor.

Good health is not a matter of nature (good genetics) or nurture (how well you take care of yourself). Physical exercise also changes the expression of genes in fat cells. Therefore, exercise doesn't just burn fat; it also controls how (and how much) fat is stored.

Pressing On

Of all the goals that I am working on this year, the ones that I most need to continue with are those dealing with exercise and fitness. My family is my motivation.

And while our bodies may be designed for distance running, I still don't have to like it. I just need to do it.

August Small Thing: New Food Each Week  

For August, my "1 small thing" goal is to try a new food each week. Considering the variety of "soul foods" in Allendale, this shouldn't be too difficult.

How are your goals coming along? Let us know in the comments.



  1. Congrats! And I like that you had to throw in your statistical prove you're still more nerd than athlete. :)