At the start of the year I spoke about being able to choose where you're planted in life, and spoke about five areas in life where you can truly prosper if you make the right choices (faith, finance, friends, fitness and people far from God) .
One of those choices was around fitness, and I said that I felt this was the area God was most highlighting for me in 2010. Since doing the London Marathon 14 years ago I've basically done nothing regular to keep fit. To try and improve I entered the Bracknell Half Marathon, as I knew that without a goal I'd never actually do anything!
Well having done the half marathon yesterday I can say that it was truly a great event. The last two miles were pretty grim, but the feeling of achievement crossing the line was huge. I was hoping to do it in under two hours, which I missed by 17 seconds, but I'm not too fussed as I achieved my other goals of a) actually getting to the finish and b) doing it without stopping.
Congratulations to other Kerith and associated runners who made it round - in no particular order the ones I know of are Andy & Ruth Jackson (and their sister Rachel), Ben Pocock, Andrew White, Tony Pudner, Robin Findlay, John Stone, Andrew Mitchell and Dave Roper.
I now intend to keep it up by doing an organised run in June and then another half marathon later this year.
So what difference has it made? Well I can honestly say that being fitter has made a huge difference. Those who have been around for a while will know that for years I've had a pattern of living life flat out for two or three months, and then having three or four days where I just completely crash and barely have the energy to get out of bed. The first four months of this year have been the busiest I've ever known, and I'm sure that on past form I'd have had a crash and burn
by now. I'm convinced that the reason I haven't is the sharpness and increased energy which has come from being physically fitter.
So here's my encouragement. Make some decisions that will see you well planted physically. It might not be realistic for you to run a half marathon, but you might need to think about walking rather than going by car, doing some sport, joining one of the church activity groups (football, women's walking and running groups, badminton and others) or improve what you eat.
Just do it!