There are some definite differences between running at home and running at school.
At school, I run on sidewalks, and I must be constantly aware of the people around me. Some people greet me; other people zoom around me. I occasionally pause at stop-lights, and I usually walk the last 1/2 mile because the road turns steeply uphill. I constantly change my trail to pass different sites–1 mile takes me past the gazebo, two miles leads me through God’s Acre, and three miles directs me to the playground. The only animals are leashed dogs and the rare in-flight bird.
The lonely, rural gravel road at home is a welcome change. In the solitude, my own thoughts distract me. The occasional car seeks my protection, slowing down and pulling into the other lane. Runs are leisurely here, and, while I still face NC hills, none are as menacing as the one at school. I only have two running options: one mile or two miles. Either way, I see much of the same things–fields, hay, houses, and gardens. The animals are the best part of running at home. Delicate deer, strolling skunks, haughty horses, scampering squirrels, carefree cows, and bellowing birds accompany me as I romp across the gravel.
The best part of running at home, however, is the rabbits. Almost daily, a rabbit will dart across the road into the bushes. I always have to smile at the memory of the tortoise and the hare.
Being a runner, many people like to use running analogies with me. “It’s a marathon,” they say, “not a sprint.” I am to be the tortoise, slowly pushing through life, determined to not take a break, to not get discouraged, to not give up until the finish line. Paul wrote in Philippians 3:13-14, “
Brothers and sisters, I know that I have not yet reached that goal, but there is one thing I always do. Forgetting the past and straining toward what is ahead, I keep trying to reach the goal and get the prize for which God called me through Christ to the life above.”
On I press, not looking back, not sprinting ahead. I continually work towards the prize.
Slow and steady wins the race.