As a runner, I’m not too fond of hills. They are hard. They take more effort. They make my heart beat much faster and cause my breathing to expand. They make my calves burn and slow my pace. They are a nuisance! I know some of you might be thinking, “What about going downhill?” and you’re right. Going downhill is easier, but if the grade is too steep it is rough on the knees, and if you start and finish at the same place, which I do, there are no downhills without uphills. I would rather run on a nice level, smooth surface with the outdoor thermostat set at about 60 degrees and 60% humidity. Fat chance on that happening around here, right, and I haven’t even mentioned the wind. I dislike the wind more than hills. I can change my route and avoid the bigger hills when I’m not feeling up to it, but not the wind. I don’t get a say-so on that one. Try running into a 15 MPH wind. Even on level ground, it feels like someone has their hands on your chest and is running in the opposite direction. And you know when the wind is always a head wind, yep, when I am going uphill. A little wind is great when it’s 90 degrees and 100% humidity at 7am, but that’s not when the winds blow around here. They seem to be strongest in late January and February when at 7am a 15 MPH wind will give you a wind chill reading of ZERO!
Why do I bother? I am getting tired and frustrated right now and I’m not even sweating. I do it because I know it will make me better. God has gifted me with a physical body that can still get out there and run. He has given me a mind that enjoys the challenge, and can find relaxation in exhaustion. He has given me a smart phone where I can listen to sermons while I run, and the endurance to still comprehend the message while breathing heavily. God has given me relaxation in something that is dreadful to many. To some, running might not bring any form of gain, or it may not even be a physical possibility. What is frightening or impossible to some is life changing for others. If running is not your thing, that’s fine. Have you found what is, “your thing”? Are you challenging yourself with the gift God has given you? Have you said yes, even though the course is going to be hilly and windy? He only wants you to be better.