I returned to the local track this week to continue "getting back on track" as far as my running is concerned. I've already written about some of the emotional benefits from these runs, but I think I gained some very practical benefits as well.
For one thing, as I ran at the local track, I realized I didn't have to keep an eye out for things that could possibly cause me harm, like cars or crazy dogs. All I had to do was put one foot in front of the other...and not run into someone who might be walking. This freedom from distractions allowed me to concentrate on my form as I ran. When I did this, I discovered I had fallen back into some bad patterns as far as my running was concerned. I was leaning forward and forgetting to pull my head up so I could breathe! When you're running, breathing is a good thing! My coach had to remind me to lift my head! (You'd think the wheezing would have been reminder enough!)
The point is, sometimes in the hectic pace of life, we all can fall back into old patterns. We know they don't work, but we do them anyway. Maybe we get careless or tired, or we simply forget. I'm not necessarily talking about some huge sin or failing...more like the little things. I skip reading my Bible cause it's late. I forget to show my family how much I love them because it's been such a hard day. I don't take time to worship because I don't "feel" like it. There are hundreds of little things that I neglect to do that keep me from really "breathing". I know they are important, but I forget. Getting back on track helps me check my form in a way. I can look at myself and see what I'm forgetting....or a trusted "coach" can help point out the obvious when I'm too dense to see it for myself.
I look forward now to my weekly runs with the group at our local track. This doesn't mean I won't ever run the hills or wide open spaces again...but when I do, I'll be a better runner simply because I took the time to get "back on track". I want to find those "back on track" moments in other areas of my life as well. I need those times when I "check my form' and see if I've fallen into doing something that not only doesn't help me, but can keep me from running the race set before me. Oh yes, and I want to remember to breathe!