Everywhere I turn these days I seem to encounter athletes. One of my friends did a half IronMan this last weekend, we’re in the middle of the Olympics, and I recently learned about Sister Madonna Buder, about whom Nike recently made a great commercial.
Sr. Madonna’s story is fantastic. She has completed over 40 IronMan competitions – for the uninitiated the race includes a 2.4 mile swim, a marathon run, and 112 bike ride, for a total of 140.62 miles in under 17 hours. Oh… and she’s 86.
It’s all very intimidating or inspiring… I can’t decide which one. I’m not a complete couch potato – I play on a few rec leagues, but what these people can physically accomplish is amazing. It makes me want to go out and run a mile.
My mom always said that I shouldn’t use the word hate. So I won’t.
I very strongly dislike running. VERY strongly.
I love mowing the lawn. I have a super old Dixon lawn mower and for 2 and half hours every weekend I get to mow the lawn. It’s very mesmerizing.
What do these two thing have in common? They are great times for prayer.
I’m particularly fond of the Divine Mercy Chaplet (I found the one sung by Angelina on Google Play is my favorite) when I’m mowing. It is such a powerful prayer and when sung, it adds time for me to meditate on each iteration of “For the sake of His Sorrowful Passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world.” It’s beautiful and moving and very personally meaningful.
Then there’s running. Did I tell you how I feel about running? Well that hasn’t changed in the last 4 paragraphs. I don’t like to do it.
However, prayer is a great tool for my mental game when I run. It not only keeps my mind busy, but it also helps me keep tempo and sets milestones for marking my run. (Tip – Rosary Rings work really well for this.)
The man who teaches the adult education classes at my church swims as he prays the rosary. He says he can spend an entire half hour on a single mystery. That is inspiring.
So with rosary ring securely around my finger, I run. I run the rosary. And the results are a slightly better soccer game, physical well-being and an inner satisfaction that can only come from the grace of God.