Notes from a Jogging Saint
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“Notes from a Jogging Saint,” Ensign, July 1982, 62

Notes from a Jogging Saint

I used to ride my bicycle around the block each day for exercise. One day the bike broke down, so I ran around the block—it felt wonderful. A few days later I tried running around our half-mile park. I ran about a quarter of the way and collapsed in utter exhaustion.

Later, I acquired a book on running. The rewards seemed so numerous that I kept pushing—all the way to a mile and a half every day. I kept at it for a year, considering myself in the “big time.”

Then, when our ward’s boundaries were changed, I was assigned to visit teach a wonderful sister whom I had not met. One day, when she talked of being overweight, I asked, “May I come to your house four mornings a week and take you jogging with me?” She agreed, so we huffed and puffed together each morning, building up to two miles.

When someone talked her into entering a six-mile race, I was hesitant. But she was determined to get herself into condition for longer runs, so I went along with the idea.

With an enriched training program based on our experience, reading some books on running, and advice from experienced runners, we conditioned ourselves over a period of months to run up to a fourteen mile distance. Our goal then became to participate in a marathon.

Our rewards have been many. We have felt stronger and better, and have enjoyed a new awareness and gratitude for the temples in which our spirits dwell. We have watched the beautiful earth in her many moods and seasons and have felt a nearness to our Heavenly Father. We have entertained each other over the many miles with stories, dreams, hope and faith, laughter, tears, and sometimes just a comfortable silence. We are grateful for the joy of increased physical fitness, which in turn has given us more strength to serve the Lord, our families, and others. Kathy Summers, Denver, Colorado