Since I started running there have been numerous people who have asked if I would like to go running with them. There have also been numerous times when people have suggested, and I have thought about entering races. HOWEVER… there has only been 1 time when I have run with someone else, and, I think she knows this, but it won’t be happening again. I have gone for a couple of runs with the husband but that meant leaving the house at the same time, doing a warm up together, and then I ran off on my own – so it doesn’t really count – but I’m sure he’d point it out to me!
I think there are a variety of reasons for this, including my competitive nature, and feeling the need to look good in front of other people (something you can’t really do when running) but today I was reminded of the real reason why I am, and think will continue to be a lone runner.
During my 3 month sabbatical time I took part in two retreats. On both of these retreats I was challenged by the idea of intimacy – intimacy in my relationship with God. This really challenged me because intimacy challenges me at the best of times, let alone with God. The idea has stuck around in my head, but then life got in the way (as it has a tendency to do). This week it has come back, as I am starting to get myself into beneficial habits before heading back to work.
Yesterday I text the husband. When I sent the message I realised that I hadn’t text him for a week, and even then it was because I was downstairs at my parents, he was upstairs, and I couldn’t be bothered to walk up! Why hadn’t I text him? Simple… Because I had been with him. We had spent time together. We didn’t need any other form of communication. We weren’t talking constantly, we just were. We walked, we ate, we drank, we sat, we swam, we talked, we laughed.
To me intimacy seems quite a scary word, and I’m not sure why. I think it’s because it suggests that if there is intimacy then there are no boundaries, no hiding places, no secrets – which to me is quite scary. I would say that there are two people who I feel I have that level of relationship with, and even with them it takes a lot of courage for me to open up fully. Yet all intimacy means is close familiarity and friendship – that doesn’t seem scary at all. I think this is why the idea of intimacy has been in my head but I haven’t necessarily done anything about it, I was scared.
Yesterday I went to a friend’s house, a friend who I had met on one of the retreats, and there was a connection. She asked… “What was the one thing you took from the River” (River being the name of the retreat) – straight away I said intimacy. We continued to talk, and we spent some time in prayer. A lot of stuff came out of that time, a lot of things that I need to process. But the one thing I didn’t need to process as it was so clear was a voice – I don’t normally hear voices when praying – and the voice said
“Come run with me”
Tonight that was what I did. I ran. During my run I was able to marvel at the work of the Creator; I was able to give thanks for the good things in my life; I was able to question things I am unsure of; I was able to process a lot of the stuff that has been going on, and the messages I have been receiving. I wasn’t actively speaking prayers to God (mainly because I can’t speak when running, I struggle to breathe) but there was no need to because I was just spending time, and we just were.
This morning I was asked a question about another aspect of my life that I’ve been exploring recently and the question was “Is that for you or is that corporate?”. I think it is important that we question why we do things. For some people running is something they do with other people, or for the competition and that’s important for them – that corporate element. For me, running is the time for me, and my creator, and that is just fine!