I had been mulling it over for months. I was realizing that for the health of my body I should probably cut back on running. It was putting too much stress on my body. But I continued. I needed to run. I wanted to log more miles and go faster. I wanted to reach my goal of running a full marathon. But it was becoming an idol. Running had become too important and I could sense that the Lord was prompting my heart to make a change. Running became part of my identity. I loved telling people about how many miles I ran before 6:00 am that morning. I loved how it changed my body. I loved that people would notice that I look athletic and ask if I played a sport. To which I would explain that I was a runner.
I bought the treadmill after Covid regulations at the gym required you to wear a mask. I did not want to run with a mask on. So, I canceled my membership and bought a treadmill. I could not let anything stop me from being able to get my miles in.
I have been serious about running since 2017. In 2018 I ran my first half marathon and since then I have competed in others and have run many 13 mile runs on my own time. I would rest one day a week and push myself on all the others. Running was becoming an idol. If I was going to go on a trip, half my bag would be my running gear. Heaven forbid I miss a day.
However, over the last year I was beginning to see the signs that the stress of running was beginning to have on my body. It was impacting my sleep, my menstrual cycle was nonexistent, and I was beginning to put on weight. Overexercising puts a tremendous amount of stress on the body, with the potential of raising cortisol and insulin levels and even causing weight gain. I was feeling frustrated and fearful. I wanted to lose the weight I had gained so I ran harder. I was not getting the desired results that I hoped for. It was stressing out my system more but I was afraid to stop. I was afraid that I would become fatter and unhealthy if I didn’t get that daily run in.
Then I had surgery. Due to needing to rest while I recovered and not having energy because I couldn’t eat while my tongue healed, my running took a much needed sabbatical. As I recovered I slowly transitioned away from running and more towards strength training and walks. Surgery took its toll on my body and I haven’t been the same since. I need more time to recover from the trauma that it was to me. As I was recovering and refocusing on how I care for my body, my treadmill sat in my living room. I knew I needed to let it go. I wanted to honor God with my body. The treadmill was a way for me to have a back up plan if I couldn’t run outside. I felt safe knowing that I could run whenever I wanted as long as I had it. But I’m rethinking what I’m doing. I hope to be healthy enough to run again. Right now I don’t even know if I can call myself a runner. I’m a runner in rehab. If it is no longer part of my identity it doesn’t make me any less valuable. I may never reach my goal of running a full marathon. I had to ask myself, “who is holding me to these goals of mine? Who is keeping track of my miles? Who is going to be disappointed if I don’t reach them?” I am the only one holding myself to them. No one is going to be disappointed if I don’t. I am still loved. I am still beautiful. I am still a child of God even if I don’t run.
Put my treadmill on Facebook market and sold it today. I wasn’t even sad to see it go. I knew it was the right thing. I can honor God more with my body, time, and resources without it.