Five Minute Friday: Joy

What a week! Life is moving so fast for us right now, and I know I’ve promised an update…

Like the proverbial dieter, I will make this promise: Monday.

Today, I’m taking five minutes to join up with others in Lisa-Jo’s community to write about joy. This week’s prompt is a tribute to Sara, and her commitment to choose joy whatever the circumstances.

Ready, set…

GO

A few years ago I started running. It was part of this boot camp thing I was doing. Before the sun peeped through the smog, a bunch of Orange County housewives would meet at a local elementary school to be beaten into swimsuit readiness. It was grueling.

Part of the routine was our weekly run. Each Wednesday we would head to a park, instead of the school. and there we would have five miles ahead of us. Some, who had been doing the boot camp for much longer than me, ran the entire way. I was lucky if I could jog for more than a minute or two.

Then somewhere around week three, I noticed a change. I was enjoying it, this running thing (or what I called running).

Much of my morning exercise was spent on my own. With earbuds plugged in, Queen serenading me with rock ballads, and a steady rhythm under my feet…I found joy.

Months earlier, if someone had told me that I could have found pleasure in running through a park at 5:30 AM, I would have laughed at them. Even today, I laugh at the idea. It seems ludicrous

Which is exactly how I feel when James tells me to consider it a bonus when I encounter trials. Joy…in trial?! Someone drank a little too much of the kool-aid.

I don’t think it’s the trial that we’re supposed to find joy in. Rather, I think it’s the endurance we build up, the strength we didn’t know we had, the toning of our spiritual muscles.

It’s been awhile since I ran regularly. My muscles have returned to their non-toned status and once again the idea of running for fun seems absurd. Maybe it’s time for me to push myself again, to find joy in the trial.

STOP

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23 thoughts on “Five Minute Friday: Joy

  1. Ooh! I’ll “run” with you! Just so you know, it would be a definite walk for awhile. Haha! But seriously, as ludicrous as it sounds to the both of us to have these thoughts, I really do like the idea of learning to love running…

    • I am hoping to get back into it once we’ve gotten into our own place. Of course, that will be fall in the PNW, and I don’t know if I’m acclimated enough yet. So, maybe I’ll postpone till Spring when I can come up with a new excuse. Hahahaha!

  2. People laugh when I tell them I used to not be able to run a mile, and now I’m going a marathon in 3 weeks. At some point, it does become joyful, doesn’t it? But not at first, which is why you have to keep going to find the joy. Thanks for posting.

  3. So true that joy gets us looking into the future; beyond the current trial. I just started a new exercise routine…and it’s grueling! I needed this encouragement. Thank you!

  4. I “get” this. I so get this.

    Last year, I ran two half-marathons, and felt joy right in the middle of the pain. Crazy.

    Love your five minutes here, Melissa. You pack a lot of punch — and a bit of koolaid — into five minutes. Love it!

  5. I used to run, before I had kids. :( I ran a 5K every single day, in the scorching Louisiana heat and humidity, in the crisp cool air of the Dutch gardens. It was my favorite part of the day. But, that first mile or so was rough. Once I passed that, I reached what they call the “runner’s high”. I don’t know all the technical specifics of what generates the runner’s high. I think it’s something to do with your body producing enough endorphins/adrenaline to propel you to continue the run, and then you get in the zone where nothing can stop you. And, I’m sure many a runner has made this connection, but I think that is what joy is like. Getting through the tough part is what brings joy-knowing that God will create something out of my trials.. Reminds me of James 1:12 {a bit further down in the reading from what you referenced}, “Blessed is a man who perseveres under trial; for once he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him.” It certainly brings me joy to know that He has a promise waiting for me at the end of the run.

  6. It’s tough to keep up a work out. But maybe it’s the discipline we find joy in that teaches us other things and changes us. I can’t stand running, but I love speed walking. I love working out though not loving so much the sprint starts or burpies.

  7. I think I can’t, I think I can’t…and so I can’t. But when I read inspiring thoughts from non-runners who conquered their “can’t”? It makes me think **maybe** I could if I would only try.

    I love that you found something so real, so relateable to write about, Melissa. This joy think can be as hard…or as simple as we make it.

    (always so nice to see you pop in at my place…HAD to stop by to tell you thanks!!) :)

    • So true! I have to check myself so often, because I’m constantly coming up with reasons why I can’t do this or that. Obviously I am right if I’m not even going to try. :)

      And, I wish I could pop in more often, but my online time is severely limited lately. I’m looking forward to a little more routine in the next month or so and the opportunity to catch up with everyone again. I love seeing your smiley face here too, Robin! :)

  8. I’m the same way. I love running after I’ve done it for a while, but I am so not there anymore. If you ever want a running buddy, I would love to run with you sometime, and you know, get to know you in real life. Greenlake is such a wonderful place to go running.

    • Would you believe that in my 20+ years of living in the Seattle area I’ve never been to Greenlake? Haha! I’m gonna have to start being a tourist in my own hometown so I can get to know some of these beautiful places. I’d love to meet up with you at some point! I’ll get back to you once we’re a little more settled. :) Honestly, with where I’m at right now, I’d probably more enjoy a latte at Starbucks than a run, though. Heehee!

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