When I was younger I ran a lot. I ran a number of road races when I was in my early teens. When I would go for a run while it was running my mom would ask my why I trained outside instead of going to the gym. I told her I liked "water cooled" runs. I really liked being out in the elements.
Today I am planning on a run and it will be more challenging than any run I had when I was younger. Getting sick and older has made running harder and with the pain in my feet I know I should shift my focus to something inside with less pounding. Part of me still lights up at the possibility of a water cooled run. Since I know that those days are limited they are more precious now just as they are more difficult.
Being aware of things sliding away has increased my gratefulness for what is now and encouraged me to live into the now and leave less regrets. I think cultivating gratitude is one of the most important spiritual practices we can have. It transforms so much about life. When we begin to look we see reasons to be thankful everywhere and it is very powerful.
Later today when my feet hit the pavement I will be thankful that they can still hit the pavement. I will be thankful for the pavement, the rain, my shoes, clothing and a warm car and house to dry off and a change of clothing. I am thankful for time in my day to run and each breath (no matter how labored) I breath. All this is gift, grace and for that I give thanks to the Father of Lights who gives all good things.
Giving thanks to my Lord while running transforms it from a mere workout to an act of praise and worship. What a good God we know and serve.