There is no single answer to the question.
Certainly, watching my waistband expand as my health deteriorates with age and neglect, and becomes more difficult to manage played a large part. Memories, nostalgia if you like, of the man I once was in comparison to the man I had become, putting aside all of the gray hair (or missing hair for that matter) and arthritis.
Being free from the cooped-up regimen of the desk or any other self-inflicted torturous trap that keeps one from the experience of sounds, smells, irregular terrain, and the air of the outdoors is a really big reason, and might be enough for the average runner. This freedom being out, stretching out one foot in front of the other, moving a little faster than 90 percent of all the other human beings on the planet at that given moment, is often the only reason for many to run. It certainly plays a large role in my running inspiration and motivation.
Goals come into play as well. Everyone has that initial goal, when they take that first step, anticipating their body’s adverse reaction to being forced to move like that for the first time since they were a child. Many of those that keep up with running, beyond the freedom mentioned earlier, do so by setting both short-term and long-term goals. Often those goals include running for longer periods of time, greater distances, or running (whether ever truly competing is another matter) in some event.
I have sort of a mashup of all those things, but through it all, I do have a major goal in mind. It is a goal that might seem like a crazy old idea belonging to a crazy old man, and you may not be too far off from the truth. But as for the details of this crazy old idea from this crazy old man, I will tell you flatly that I want to Run the Cross.
I am fully aware that for some, merely mentioning the cross of Christ or showing its symbol is offputting. But I cannot allow negative reactions to stand in the way of what I want to do. I have to run.
Two paths crossed one another a dozen years ago. One path was not only to run but to run an ultra distance. The other path was more personal to me, a public declaration of my faith in a way that has not happened before to my knowledge. Combining the two, my hope was to run long in the Las Vegas valley, a path in the shape of the cross.
While it never materialized years ago, I have yet again set my eyes on that goal.
While the final running route has yet to be finalized, this image will give you a general idea. The distance, as you can see in the top left of the image is 31.7 miles. It is long enough to just barely exceed the ultra distance of a 50km run (31.06 miles), while coinciding in mileage with either John 3:16 or John 3:17, depending on exactly where the run will finally end.
While none of the details have been finalized, I know that this run is my goal, and I am hoping to run it in late April or May of 2023 before things really start to heat up.
I realize that at my age and in my current state of running readiness, this almost appears to be an insurmountable goal. But it is my goal nonetheless.
I intend to put everything I have into attaining this goal, trusting God for it, no matter the outcome. I will put off those things which get in the way and patiently run my race, looking at the finish line where the Lord Jesus Christ is waiting for me to finish strong.