Running vs. Walking

Tonight I took my son out in the stroller (as I often do) for a walk around the rural roads of our community.  We saw about four cars in an hour (slow traffic night even for us).  We enjoyed the fresh air, the sights, sounds, and smells of a farming community, and the pleasant evening weather. 

I love walking.  It is truly a serene way to exercise.  It gets my heart rate up a bit, gets blood flowing to my joints, and burns calories.  But it doesn’t make me suck air the way intense workouts do.  It doesn’t leave me hurting the next day.  It puts me in touch with the wonders of God’s creation in a way that I couldn’t be if I were fighting to breathe.

Running, on the other hand, is something completely different.  I don’t believe the human body was designed to run long distances.  God gave us legs that could run if we needed to in extraordinary circumstances, but I don’t think he ever intended us to do it on purpose the way so many people do these days.  Take the marathon, for example.  We have a ritual that commemorates the Battle of Marathon, fought in 490 BC, when an outnumbered force of Athenians defeated Darius’s army.  A messenger ran 26 miles to Athens to proclaim the good news.  And then do you know what happened?  HE DIED!!!  So what do we do?  WE REPLICATE THAT 26-MILE SUICIDE RUN!!!  Something’s not right here.  Somewhere along the way we missed the obvious clue that running is bad for you.  Ask the Athenian messenger boy. 

Take it from me: I used to be a distance runner in high school.  Oh, they talk about the so-called “runner’s high.”  Do you know what that is?  It’s a lie that distance runners perpetuate in order to justify their stupid behavior to people like me.  It was probably made up by the same person who started the rumor that Pop Rocks and soda would make your stomach explode. 

I am actually in the process of formulating a theological argument that running for no good reason may be a sin.  Think about how unnatural it is, how it contravenes the Creator’s design and overthrows the order he established.  God didn’t make our joints to endure that kind of punishment.  We have no record of Jesus ever running anywhere.  He walked everywhere (which clearly sanctions my preferred method of exercise), but he never ran.  Maybe this will turn into my dissertation.

Take it from me: life is better when you walk.  Slow down.  Take the world in.  Be kind to your body and to your friends–like me–who can’t keep up with you.    


One Response to “Running vs. Walking”

  1. Andrew O'Kelley Says:

    our bodies weren’t meant for the carbonated beverages either.

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