A New Achievement

On Saturday morning I ran my first half-marathon. I’ve been running 3 times a week for two and half years now, and once I started running longer than 4 miles, I had in mind to run 13.1 in a competitive environment (if you use RunKeeper, we should connect on there). As a big sports junkie, I miss the competitive sports environment I was consistently in during high school and some of college.

I ended up running at a 7’58” pace and beat my goal of getting 8 minute per mile pace or better. Looking back on the race, I might have been able to push it a little more early in the race but there were some decent hills on miles 4-7 so I feel great about my time.

I wouldn’t say I love running, but I think think there’s a lot of value in being healthy through eating and exercise. Running has been a good fit for me to get a good workout in a short amount of time, while also being able to push myself to new levels of fitness.

One of my biggest gripes of American Christianity is its lack of a theology for the human body. When is the last time your pastor preached on the importance of treating our bodies with the understanding that they are living temples of God? Actually, I’m not sure if I’ve ever heard that talked about at church. What a shame.

I’ve been reading a good book by Matthew Lee Anderson titled Earthen Vessels (affiliate link) and also watching some of the tv show Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution both of which has greatly challenged my understanding of how God views my body and how I’ve turned it into a temple for too many awful things.

Calvin called creation the “theater of God’s glory” and we play a role in that because He has created us to be His ambassadors.

I wonder if Christians have really missed the mark when it comes to a holistic understanding of how God desires to transform us?

More and more, Christians are being recognized for their desires to join in God’s pursuits of restoring our world, but they’ve missed out on God’s desire to restore our bodies.

That’s just one more reason why I run.

  • Ben

    Great job Tyler! Now you need to fly out to South Bend and attend a Notre Dame football game, that will reengage that competitive spirit. Some other things to make you feel more like a sports fan is becoming a fan of the:
    Detroit Tigers
    Green Bay Packers
    Detroit Pistons
    Detroit Red Wings

    For real though, if I lose about 40 more pounds, I think I will be able to do a half marathon in the future also. You are rocking it out.

    • http://www.manofdepravity.com Tyler

      Interesting how you pick and choose…how can you be a Detroit sports fan and Packers fan? That smells of front runner.

      • Ben

        Well here is your cultural lesson for the day. If you grow up in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, you will most likely be a Packer fan, there is a sprinkling of Lions and Bears fans but the majority are Packer fans. Beyond that, most other sports are a mixture of Detroit, Milwaukee and some Chicago. I think there may be like one or two crazy people who are even close to being a Minnesota fan of any sort but we ask them to move.

  • http://thoughtsaboutnothing.com Kyle Reed

    congrats buddy

  • Mary

    Congrats on completing the half and exceeding your goal.

    My husband and I have been increasingly more interested in health and wellness over the last few years. A little over 2 years ago, I started running (turtle pace, nothing over a 5K so far). Then I started making changes to my eating habits little by little. In just over a year, I lost 50 pounds, which I have now kept off for a year. I feel better than I have for years, and I have significantly reduced the symptoms of a medical condition without the use of medicine.

    I love running. For me, it’s a great time to meditate on Scriptures I’ve read, listen to praise and worship music, and pray without being distracted.

    We often approach health and wellness from the angle that we are stewards of the bodies God has given us. Our bodies are not our own, but are given to us as tools for serving Him and bringing others into His kingdom. If we neglect our bodies, we can be hindered in our ability to do that by sickness, fatigue, etc.

    I have found that when discussing the subject with women, they often get defensive about society’s expectations about looks and miss the point. It’s not about meeting someone else’s idea of beauty, but it is about tending to the needs of the physical body and not doing things that hinder health.

    I think a lot of people take Paul’s words to Timothy that “bodily discipline is only of little profit” and use that as an excuse, but he doesn’t say there’s no benefit.

    • http://www.manofdepravity.com Tyler

      Great words Mary!

  • Jeremy Chandler

    Congrats, man.
    Looks like you’re ready to make the trek East & try and tackle the Nashville 1/2.

    • http://www.manofdepravity.com Tyler

      Hmm maybe. I don’t really understand the whole spending lots of money to do a race. Most days I can just run 13.1 miles by myself and call it good 🙂

      Though it is nice to get water handed to you the whole time.

  • http://www.benreed.net Ben Reed

    Congrats, Tyler! I’ve been running for a while now, and am considering signing up for a 1/2.

    I think you’re on to something, connecting health with church. Growing up, “treat your bodies as living temples” was interpreted by my youth pastor to mean:
    1. Don’t smoke.
    2. Don’t drink.
    3. Don’t have sex.

    I like the direction you’re going. Sure wish more churches would jump on that!

    • http://www.manofdepravity.com Tyler

      And really all those things are wise, but they don’t hit on the entirety of it for me. They’re about what not to do, but they miss on what we should be doing.

  • Ken

    Tyler, this is why I like reading your blog — you bring up ideas which are worthy of serious consideration, and which I either haven’t thought about, or haven’t given enough thought toward. Congrats on the Helvetia.

  • http://www.contentunderpressure.net Josh

    Congrats on that accomplishment, man!

    And I agree, we’ve definitely lost sight of what it means to steward all of what God has given us (our body certainly being one of them) well. I honestly think it’s hard to hear that message clearly with our society so fixated on looks. I see the aftermath of those pressures on a daily basis where I work.

  • Rose Braun

    proud of you baby! And the way you can relate something like running and our spiritual walk and blend them together is a gift you have. Very insightful post. 🙂

  • http://faithoverflow.blogspot.com Nikki Eidson

    Congrats on the 1/2, Tyler!
    i finished my first half back in April. far slower than you because i didn’t get to train the way i wanted to, but i survived and that was a great accomplishment in itself!

    but i definitely agree that we need more focus on our bodies as “God’s temple”. there is so much pressure to be or look a certain way for the world, but not for our Creator. great thoughts!

  • http://davidsantistevan.com David Santistevan

    Congrats bro! Love your thoughts on our bodies as a temple of the Holy Spirit. That’s also why I run and prioritize exercise in my week. I’m no pro, but I try 🙂