For all 23 years of my life and even before I came into existence, my dad has been an avid runner. From light jogs around our neighborhood to hardcore marathon training, he’s stayed committed to this form of exercise. He’s been a member of the Olathe Run Club and has participated in 4+ marathons. Needless to say, his legs are hands down the most muscular part of his body. Running is his ideal way to exercise. It gives his mind a chance to relax and shifts his focus to the sound of his shoes rhythmically hitting the pavement. Unfortunately as the body ages, certain body parts don’t take kindly to the strain of excessive running.
Over the last couple months, my dad has been training for his next marathon. For those of you who don’t know, marathon training is extensive. You can’t just wake up the morning of and decide to run 26.2 miles. You have to condition your body and build up the necessary endurance to run nonstop for 2-4 hours depending on your pace. My dad told me that his favorite part of the marathon experience was the atmosphere and camaraderie. He loves the cheering from onlookers and presence of hundreds of other runners. After training for so long, you can only imagine his disappointment when he started battling crippling back and foot pain. The pain has gotten so intense that he fears he may not be able to run at all on Saturday.
The news was devastating. It sparked feelings of frustration, anger and resignation. He tried everything to help ease the pain from sleeping on the floor, stretching more, alternating ice and heat to visiting the chiropractor. When I heard him say he needs a miracle, I knew I needed some backup. I texted several friends to form a prayer army in hopes of easing his pain enough so he could at least run/walk the marathon. My dad thinks praying for this kind of thing is silly when there are so many other superior prayer intentions. I told him, “Dad, if this is important to you, it’s important to God.”
During a visit this morning, his chiropractor instructed him not to do anything until a follow-up visit tomorrow. He will be making his final decision based on how he feels after resting today and tomorrow. Luckily if he doesn’t feel up for it, because of the race director’s approval, he can defer his participation to next year’s marathon and not lose out on the money he spent on this year’s.
Lord please send my dad a new source of comfort, strength and healing for the marathon on Saturday. He loves to run, and he cannot conquer this challenge without your help. Please send extra blessings his way. Amen.