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The Madera Tribune

My trail, my church

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webmaster | 10/03/13

Running is obviously good for the body (it improves muscle tone and cardiovascular health) just as it is good for the mind (a Cambridge University study found that running sparks neurogenesis, or the growth of new brain cells.)

What I’ve discovered in recent weeks is that my favorite hobby is also good for the soul and the spirit. (I promise this will not become a religious column, as that sector is already well taken care of by my fellow columnists, the Rev. Jim Fox, the Rev. Keith Axberg, and John Rieping. I’ll indulge in this topic only once.)

Running on my familiar trail gives me the same feeling that I get when I go to church. Sometimes I get the feeling at the third mile, the 11th, the 16th… when it happens, I feel something else taking over. I feel calm, at peace, and unburdened. My legs are still moving, my arms are still pumping, the air is flowing in and out of my lungs, but it all feels effortless and serene, an almost out-of-body experience. I feel happy, sometimes giddy.

I called it, as many runners do, the “runner’s high,” and attributed it to endorphins. But I’m beginning to wonder, is that you, God? ...


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