runningRunning After a Hiatus

After five short days in Bozeman, we headed north to Alberta. Unfortunately, we started late in the day and only made it to a Calgary Wal Mart parking lot the first night of our adventure. I decided that the time had come to get back in shape—I hadn’t run very much for the past three weeks.

After a good night’s sleep, I got dressed, laced up my running shoes, grabbed my bear spray and cell phone, and headed out the door for a run. “If I’m not back in 30 minutes,” I told Pedro, “call the police.”

I don’t love city running, but I’ll do it if necessary. Running along busy sidewalks and waiting for crosswalk signals takes the fun out of running. As I waited at a stoplight, I surreptitiously checked my elevation app. What I discovered shocked me. Home (Holbrook), is 1800 feet higher in elevation than Calgary!

For my last long run at home, I breezed through ten miles. After just 20 days of mostly jogging and walking at lower elevations, I had lost a lot of conditioning. I had great excuses. I spent time with my daughter Laura each morning for ten days, and her pregnancy prevented her from running much. The muggy California weather sapped my energy.

The truth? I could have gotten up earlier and run further. My lethargy had nothing to do with anyone else. Just me. I had no excuse. My choice had consequences—loss of conditioning and lower motivation to continue running.

Parallel Construction

As I ran back towards the trailer, I thought of how closely the words ‘Calgary’ and ‘Calvary’ resemble each other. A simple substitution of a ‘g’ with a ‘v’ and you get a completely different meaning. I don’t know about you, but whilst running my mind-train tends to jump all over the tracks.

My running life and my spiritual life can easily suffer from the same problem. I try to exercise on a regular basis (at least 10,000 steps a day with at least 15 minutes of cardio). Likewise, I spend time with God every morning.

During those times in my life when I don’t run, walk, or exercise strenuously, my body quickly falls out of shape and it takes extra effort to get moving. My body craves exercise, but if I ignore the cravings long enough, I lose my conditioning and have to work extra hard to get back in shape.

During those times in my life when I let vacation, company, schedule changes, or caregiving duties interfere with my time with God, I quickly fall out of spiritual shape. I act crabby. It takes extra effort to keep a pleasant attitude. Circumstances quickly get me down. My heart craves time with God, but if I ignore the cravings long enough, I lose my focus and have to work extra hard to rebuild that relationship.

If I ignore my heart cravings long enough, I damage my relationship with God. #write31days Click To Tweet

I made it back to the trailer in fewer than 30 minutes, and Pedro had a breakfast of pancakes waiting for me. We left for Banff National Park by nine, and I couldn’t wait to visit one of the places on my Fifty Fun Firsts list. But that’s a story for tomorrow.

Beauty Tip #7: The time you spend with God each day will keep you conditioned to face life with hope.

Q4U: Have you ever noticed a time in your life when you seemed crabby and out of sorts? What caused it?


  1. Love this and your beautiful new site. Didn’t know you had spruced things up over here. I understand about cravings and love the connection to God. When I am not intentional about time with God, the well goes dry which is similar to losing the conditioning we strive for with exercise. Great post and a lot to think about!
    Mary Geisen recently posted…Reflections of OurselvesMy Profile

  2. Love the updated picture and the new look! Have you always had an “anitaojeda” as well as a “blessedbutstressed” location, and I just didn’t know it, or is this an entirely new thing?

    I always need reminders like this one, because I have the crazy idea that I’m not “accomplishing” anything if I exercise. Too easy to just fold laundry or start something for breakfast or check something off the do-list or . . .
    I feel so much better when I maintain both body and spirit.
    (And face the reality that the housework will never be done anyway!)
    Michele Morin recently posted…Dramatic, Wild, and WetMy Profile

    1. Hey, Michele! I just started this website at the end of September. I felt the need to share more photography and non-caregiver stuff. Oh, you’re so right about housework never being done!

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Anita Ojeda

Anita Ojeda juggles writing with teaching high school English and history. When she's not lurking in odd places looking for rare birds, you can find her camping with her kids, adventuring with her husband or mountain biking with her students.

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