I have never known the true complexities of a love-hate relationship until I started running.

Three years ago, I’m not sure what happened, but a strange urge of getting-in-shape came over me and I didn’t know what else to do but answer the call. I needed to exercise to help me not be in my head bout sitting all day at my desk job. I’d get up and run or bike in the morning as a sort of pre-payment to sitting all day. Kind of a work-before-play thing, because for me, exercise is definitely more work than it is play.

Then—I’m not really sure what happened—but I signed up to run a half-marathon. Definitely some sort of lapse in judgment. I had mastered the 5k, but a half-marathon? I did realize that was TEN MORE MILES than a 5k, right? I clearly grossly underestimated my math abilities (which I’ve already admitted are sub-par). Long story short, last year I ran the Detroit Half-Marathon and actually survived. Which was really cool, because it was something I never thought I would ever do. And it was an accomplishment. And it felt good. (The accomplishment, not the actual running.)

Well…you know that fool-me-once thing? Something about one time is a mistake but two times is stupid? I’m about to get to the shame-on-me part. This weekend, actually. On Sunday. In Detroit. Again.

But this time, it’s not about me. It’s not about just running for the accomplishment and having that bucket list thing under my belt. (Just for the record, running a half-marathon was never on my bucket list.) This time, it’s for Hope Water Project. Because if I have to run 13.1 miles, it might as well be for someone other than just me!

I haven’t reached my goal for the fundraiser yet, and I might not. But every little bit helps. Support me here: Emily’s Hope Water Project Run.

Sometimes when people find out that I run, they say “Oh, good for you. I could never run. I hate running so much.” And I always say, “Oh, believe you me. So do I. The only thing I like about running is being done with a run.” It’s truly love-hate. I love being finishing and feeling like I did something really great. I love the endorphin-high I get, and I love that I can justify eating just about anything (within reason—never will it justify “BeanBoozled“).

And while Hope Water Project doesn’t make me love to run anymore—or hate it any less—than before, it does add a little more reward to the risk, and it makes the love side of the scale tip a bit. This time, I’m not just running for myself, or to feel good or to eat pizza (though I am excited about the pizza). I’m running so someone else can have a cup of cold, clean water, and a chance to go to school, work, and church.

I’m running so an entire community of people hears the Gospel. And I love THAT more than anything.

 

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