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What Running Empties, God Fills

From my running diary/blog Iron-Saint.com

I sometimes go through periods in my running, like some periods in my life, where my soul feels as barren as a desert.

One of the things that I love about running is that it empties my head of the mundanities of life. It creates a space, a vaccumm, that can be -- will be filled up with something else. But what else?

As the title of this blog indicates, I view running as a spiritual exercise. Penance. Virtue. Cardio.

But it is also a sport. For the past few months, and in particular the last two months, my running had been almost entirely focused on my preparation for the Philly marathon. And in the weeks since, recovery. That space that running is supposed to empty filled up with me. What pace should I run the marathon. How will I do? What should I wear? Am I ready? And since... Could I have done better? When will I be recovered? Why do I still feel so lousy?

That space got filled up with a lot of me and that has killed the joy of running for me. No room for thoughts about God or family, too crowded in there for that.

So it was that this weekend as I began my Saturday run, I took a right turn into the woods. I had been avoiding trail running ...

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