Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Worship with your Whole Body

When I was in Africa, I learned what it was like to worship with my whole body--clapping and dancing and singing and praying.  I would go home sore and exhausted, but having worshipped in a very lovely sort of way.  And as a seminarian who was questioning everything and stressed out to the point of breaking, I also Found God in Spandex as I trained for a triathlon. (I think that was my first published piece.) So the idea made perfect sense to me when I read a colleague's blog "Worship in Running Shoes".  The idea was to find a way to worship as she was running. Her playlist rocks (and definitely jazzed up my itunes account.) Then a fellow RevGal undertook the challenge here.  Her playlist rocks too.

So, it's been a hard day for a lot of reasons and I'm supposed to be doing 1,000 things but just really want to clear my head with a run, so this seems like the next best thing.  You know, procrastination helps relieve stress.

Here's the gauntlet that was thrown by Shelli (who was linked above.)
  Heads up, though; all of these songs are secular, or Christian-y (Christian-ish?). What I'm saying is if you're looking for the WOW Worship running mix, this is not for you. But I think as Christians we should be intentional about identifying the sacred in what might not be overtly called "godly". My criteria is pretty simple: (1) You have to be able to run to it. (2) It has to have the capacity to point you to God, even if you have to be a little creative. (3) No references to pimpin', guns, or anything that may sound like making out with Jesus (Ewwww, yuck, no! This is not the place to come for your Jesus is my Boyfriend fix.) You'll have to put your imaginations into it, and your hearts . . . and your feet, but here goes . . . - 

Alright, here's my whole body worship. (Side note-- my running, worshipping colleagues are much more hip than I am.  Painful realization: I listen to music that is both old and slow--but sometimes that's how my running feels.)

Prelude—We didn’t start the Fire—Billy Joel
Call to Worship—There is a Meeting Here Tonight  Cantus
Confession Sin Wagon
Assurance of Pardon Closer to FIne
 Prayer for Illumination—Walking on Sunshine

Born to Fly
Learning to Fly-- Petty
Graceland—Paul Simon
Ants Marching—Dave Matthews
Don’t Stop Believing-- Journey

Affirmation of Faith  How Sweet it is to be Loved by You—James Taylor
Prayers—Prayin for Daylight—Rascall Flatts
Offering – Fight Like a Girl -- Bombshel
Benediction  Send Me on My Way—Rusted Root

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

The "Don't Be Stupid" Plan

I want the world. I want the whole world. I want to lock it all up in my pocket. It's my bar of chocolate. Give it to me now. (Verucca Salt, Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory)

If I ever have to pick another trainer, I'm picking one who is not also my friend, one that I look in the eyes and say "I did everything you said.  I have no idea why I blew out my knees." I'd pick one I could lie to.  When he-who-trains gave me more specific instructions on running (don't pick up the pace, don't do hills, don't decrease your recovery time or increase your total time, don't go above 60-70% of what you can do, do keep it easy, etc) I'm sure he already knew that I was going to fight him on it. Before I could get in many argumentative words, he (rightfully) said "That's what you always do.  You feel good for five minutes and then you want to do as much as you can as hard as you can. You do it when you've been sick too. You only think of right now.  But your goal is to be healthy." I didn't tell him that I've pretty much already broken all of those things or that I was planning on doing a 5k in the fall, but that was pre-getting busted, so we'll just chalk that up to momentary, overexcited brain cramp.

I have a life's-short-so-make-it-count philosophy. When I'm committed to something (though that part doesn't always happen quickly), I want it done yesterday.  Radical short haircut. Painting the bedroom walls. Buying a new car.  Or, you know. Losing 90 lbs. Running a marathon.

I'm still fighting this stress induced/wacky hormones plateau, and maybe it's making me lose my brain. I'm getting so frustrated, that it wouldn't take much for me to get stupid. (Or maybe I already have?) I am always fighting the need for harder and more... and maybe a little bit of go until you have nothing left. I've regressed to the point where I'm having a hard time listening to my body.  I don't want to rest or heal. I'm back to scowling when He-who-trains tells me to take it easy. (Which is maybe why I have a nagging shoulder thing. I spent two weeks scowling instead of resting.)

But what is it I really want? Is it as "simple" as being in a lovely 135lb body? Is it as common as being able to wear the clothes I want to wear? No, it isn't.  What I want is bigger than that.  I want to be feel fantastic.  I want to be free to do what my heart wants to do without any lip from my body. I want to be healthy and strong through all my life stages.

So today was supposed to be a running day.  And I'm only "supposed" to get two a week.   And I was looking forward to it.  But my body said "Don't. Nuhuh. Sit your behind down and quit gettin on my last nerve." (And He-who-trains gave me The Look. Twice.)  I did some catching up for work. I've got on cozy pjs and will quickly fall asleep to Grays Anatomy on Netflix.  Even though I've made the commitment before and broken it, I'm gonna try again.  Long term health, not short term fun.  I'm signing back up for the "Don't Be Stupid" plan.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013


When I started working with He-who-trains, I made a hard promise. I would give up running for 8 weeks so that I could strengthen my legs enough that my knees didn't hurt.  That was 10 months ago. We made a deal--he'd be my trainer, but I wanted him to train me to be a runner.  

And I've been putting in my gym time.  I didn't much want to lift, but after some convincing, I began to like it.  I've smiled at how "the people" at the gym have become "my people."  But I've still wanted to run.  Until today, He-who-trains has had a no running decree--and has made enough (joking?) threats that I didn't push it.  I nagged, begged, whined, and made puppy dog eyes, and he finally gave his, at least stopped making threats against my well-being.

Of course, he gave specific instructions.  One lap walking, one lap running for an hour or until my knee started hurting. Five miles later, I say Boo-yah! It wasn't fast or pretty, but boo-yah nonetheless. I'm not naive enough to believe that I'll suddenly become a runner and have no more problems.  I know I'm going to have to take it slow.  And ice, lots of ice.  And might as well buy stock in glucosamine and advil, but that's ok. 

I'm itching to run right now.   To be tired in that way, that somehow different from weight-lifting tired.  To have the time alone to not think-- because running for me is sort of like playing pool-- it demands enough of me that I can't think about other things. I won't give up my gym time, as I don't want to degrade the muscle I've worked hard to build, but this is a nice addition.  I'm pretty sure that my pace tonight disqualifies my time as a "run", but that's ok too.  I can start with a jalk.

At the four mile mark, when I was feeling really good, the Indigo Girls came on my ipod. They sang "Closer to Fine", and my head and heart joined them.  For tonight, anyway, that's my song. 

Kim 1, Knees 0.  Booyah!