Sunday, November 22, 2009

Life without Running

I am happy to be the sister who is starting this blog about running with kids.  Ironically, I am the sister who cannot run, at least for now.  I have read several posts and articles about what runners can do when they have an injury to help them cope with the time they cannot run.  Such articles help me.  But it is a whole different story when the impediment to running is a health issue that stretches into years.  Such a long break in running—for me—has been a sense of loss.  Although my efforts to regain former strength have not been rewarded quickly, they are being rewarded slowly, and I hope to resume running in the coming year.
Four things have been incredibly helpful to me over the years of being unable to run.

  • The first is the St. Charles Children’s Home 5k, which takes place every year in Portsmouth, NH on Labor Day.  Coordinating this event for the runners in my region has been a motivation each year that keeps me going.  I feel so honored to pass out the awards to the winners of my race.  Though I have not been able to run in the event for many years, I have been able to make it happen.
  • The second help has been walking.  It reduces stress, keeps me moving and gives me hope that some day my daily walks will turn once again into daily runs.  There can be measurable progress in walking, which is helpful also.  I can climb mountain trails with 800+ foot elevations now . . . which is wonderful cross training to prepare me for running in the future.
  • The third help has been stretching.  I use a book that is a classic in the fitness world:  Bob & Jean Anderson’s Stretching.  The common sense and careful approach to stretching in this book has helped me regain some mobility and most definitely has helped me to improve a skill that is critical to every runner:  listening to my body.

  • By far the most important help to me in these years without running has been prayer (hopefully not a surprise since I am a sister).  We all face difficult situations in our life, but God does not expect us to face them alone.  By His suffering on the cross Jesus has manifested solidarity with humanity in our suffering.  The ability to unite my frustrations as well as my progress to Jesus in prayer is the most important part of my life.
I hope these experiences of mine can give ideas to others who face long terms without running.


Gonzalo Quintana said...

Following your blog from Spain, Europe. I am extremely impressed on what you do with kids and encourage you to find the energy inside to keep on organizing these fantastic runs you do. Regards

Sister Mary Agnes said...

Dear Gonzalo,

Thank you for following our blog, and for your encouraging words! God Bless, Sister Mary Agnes