Friday, July 23, 2010

Fighting Spiritual Cancer 34220 Phanar District

Today was a great spectacular run. There is a tropical storm brewing which meant I actually got to run at 3:00. It was totally overcast and there was a warm, light, zephyr wind that mixed periodically with a cool breeze. People seemed to rush about trying to beat the rain clouds. I relished running in the light rain. My only concern was not killing another ipod with water damage. There was no lightening which made the run completely exhilarating. The anticipatory anxiety has been fading, withdrawing and my apprehension has lost its grip.

Once again I found myself lost to the run it was amazing. The more I run the more I feel the pressure and anxiety of another marathon leave me. I could actually feel the strength in my spirit returning the will to accomplish something difficult. For a few months now the vacillating between approach and avoidant postures about running which has been gut wrenching.
I suppose I had to find out, to know that my personhood, my sense of personal direction and fortitude, was not and is not dependant, on a mile's run. It sure does help shape me up fast it gets honest real quick. You can't fake a run and certainly not training or completing a marathon.  My mind, body and soul sync. I, as do all individuals,  required that self reflective, quiet, introspective down time. I allowed the ebb and flow of training to guide me back and then I had to 'just take the bull by the horns' and do it. Now that I have a cause greater then my own girth, I am driven to do my best. To put my best foot forward as it were.
Now I am spear heading Team 34220, the team-in-training, comprised currently of committed newbie runners and I don't want to let them down.
What makes this endeavor so wonderful is that I get to assist them in discovering their inner strength and personal reslove while banishing their inner demons. I am the most unlikely person to accomplish such a great undertaking. I am so far removed from a gifted athlete or inspiring individual. My only real strength is my determination or obstinence. I essentially lack good sense and despite this I press forward. I am authentically interested in the betterment of the Orthodox community and my loyalty is genuine. The proof is in the pudding. The sheer distance of the marathon (being the great equalizer) can't rightly be marginalized and demonstrates a perserverence and vested interested.  Qualifying times are off the table and completion the only real determination for success.
This testimony not some fained attempt at modesty but to let everyone know the marathon is doable and accessible to most everyone. I am so ordinary it's ridiculous. The only determining for completing training and running race day is your commitment to do so. I have set my course and I will continue my activism by speaking-out in action. I don't want to let my church down.
This is about more then running another marathon, or my private tribute to His All-Holiness as I've done twice before. It's not about setting a PR (personal record). Rather it has everything to do with telling the world: we are out here, we are dedicated and we are relentless. We will not go quietly into the night and submit to oppression or become despondent.
We are united with one spirit, within one group, beneath the banner '34220' (the zip code of the Phanar). Each of us a small point of light, illuminating the nation, with every step, through each training session and on race day.
We are bold and will stay the course, committing to running a marathon, the gold standard for athletic accomplishment. We are perhaps over extending ourselves, in doing so, stepping out in faith to do what we can to raise awareness for the persecuted church. Our Lord is perfected in our weakness. We are in effect proclaiming our devotion to Christian ideals of liberty and truth by telling our neighbors, our families, our politicians, our running groups and our grocers that we too have a cause.
We are fighting a spiritual cancer of indifference.
We are effecting a personal change and challenging others to get involved and become engaged. Let's tell our parish priests and our parish councils to educate fellow believers about the historic martyric see of our Patriarch, the Ecumencial Patriarch.

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