I have a hate/love relationship with running.

Hate comes first there for a reason.

Even in my short-lived athletic prime (age 11, when I could, for a white girl, rock the b-ball court a bit) I could never run fast and always found it miserable. The lowest time I can remember having on the mile in P.E. class was just over 9 minutes.

I’d sacrifice a bag of salt and vinegar chips to get that time now.

The summer after KK was born (2008, yo!), I decided that early morning running was going to be my only option for real weight loss. I was burned out on Weight Watchers, Rod was still commuting 100 miles a day, and going anywhere or doing anything with 2-under-2 and expecting it to be productive was seemingly impossible.

So I spent an evening making “Running” playlists on my iPod. I got a good pair of shoes. And I ran.

And…I liked it.

I did it pretty consistently through the late fall of that year. And then Chicago winter came and I said, “Um, no.” I joined a gym a few months later and even paid for some personal training sessions, which I really liked, and then the trainer quit and the gym closed.

Aaaand… then we started our yearly convention, and stress and working for ourselves full time sort of took over and before I knew it…

Leftover baby weight + 10 or so pounds became what I was carrying around. And now, gym membership for various reasons is not an option. Time, as it is for most mommies and, you know, American humans who can’t seem to find enough to do, is short. And my motivation to diet is nill. I love food, I love eating socially, and I am not going to subsist on lettuce leaves only to fall off a wagon and gain more.

Meanwhile, I have noticed that I can *feel* the extra weight I carry. I am less flexible. I am a little slower. And don’t get me started on how I feel about trying on clothes.

I am 33 years old and healthy and active. I want to look it.

So this week, I started running again…

My version of running, as I like to say is, “Jog until I feel like throwing up. Stop until the feeling dissipates some. Then walk fast for awhile.”

Or, “Run for a verse and chorus. Then walk the rest of the song.”

Whatever the case, I’m doing it again, and I love how it feels. I love those 20-30ish minutes of alone time, listening to my music, clearing my head, talking to God, and knowing that I am doing something truly positive.

This morning, I was running through our friends’ little area of Parkton, NC when Twila Paris’ song, “Days of Elijah” came on my iPod. Being a music person (fan, not musician), I can’t help but at least lip-sync when I hear music, and today, the words of the song were making my feet lighter.

It’s possible I had to run sorta like Phoebe while listening to lines like, “Out of Zion’s hill salvation comes.” Salvation…what a concept! saving, redeeming, restoring. I am so thankful that no matter what I look like, no matter what mistakes I make, my saving grace comes not from people, but from the Lord!

I think maybe I could run a 9 minute mile on that!