Going the distance with God’s help

As long as I’ve known my Dad, he’s been an avid runner. From light jogs around our neighborhood to hardcore marathon training, he’s stayed committed to running. He’s a member of the Olathe Run Club and has participated in 4+ marathons. Needless to say, his legs are the most muscular part of his body. Running is his ideal form of exercise. It gives his mind a chance to relax and shifts his focus to the sound of his shoes hitting the pavement. Unfortunately, as the body ages certain parts do not take kindly to the strain of running.

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Over the last couple months, my dad has been training for his next marathon. For those who don’t know, marathon training is insane. 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 endurance to run nonstop for 2-4 hours. My dad told me that his favorite part of a marathon is the atmosphere and camaraderie. He loves the cheering from onlookers and being in the presence of hundreds of 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 he fears he may not be able to run on Saturday.

This was devastating news. It sparked feelings of frustration, anger and resignation. He tried to ease his pain by sleeping on the floor, stretching more, alternating ice and heat, and 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 for him. My dad thinks praying for this kind of thing is silly when there are so many other superior intentions. I said, “Dad, if this is important to you, it’s important to God.”

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.  

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, he can defer his participation to next year’s marathon and not lose out on the money he spent on this year’s marathon – thanks to the race director’s approval.

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