I had to forfeit a race this past Sunday due to a knee injury. I was very disappointed because I had paid $100 for the race which was non-refundable, but what was more important than the money was that I really enjoy participating in races. Having to miss the race got me thinking about all the joy that running has brought me over the years.

One of my favourite quotes is from the movie, ‘Chariots of Fire’ by Eric Liddell. He says,  “I believe God made me for a purpose, but He also made me fast! And when I run, I feel His pleasure.”  I’m not fast by any stretch of the imagination but I can totally identify with the experience of feeling God’s pleasure when I run.

When I run I also feel accomplished, strong and confident. Sometimes my racing involves traveling, so I also have very fond memories of traveling to interesting small towns for the events. It is also one of the ways that I stay in shape. Believe it or not, I’m not one of those naturally motivated people that can’t wait to wake up every morning and exercise. Many days are a struggle to exercise and I do it because I know it’s good for me, but when I’m training for a race, it’s a whole different mindset. I feel energized and motivated to train because I know that every training run is preparing me for the ultimate goal of race day.

Over the years I realize that everyone will be motivated by something different. In our Haven program we learned about our values and how they impact your health and wellness program. We learned that what you value is what you will give your time and attention to. The women in the program found this session very helpful because they realized that there is no one-size-fits-all approach to exercise.

We are all very different and are created with unique personalities and values and so it only makes sense that our exercise programs should align with who we are.

So if you value creativity, then your exercise program might involve trying a fun new exercise class. If you value adventure, then you might enjoy getting lost in the woods or exploring new hiking trails. If you value giving and being charitable, then try participating in a fun walk or other event to raise funds for a charity of your choice. If you value fun or friendships, then you can take a friend or two to the gym or community centre and check out a Zumba class or something that will leave you laughing and having fun. If you value competition like me, then you might find your motivation from signing up for a race in your community.

Not sure where to start? Think about what brings you joy? What makes you feel happy? Think about what you value and then think of ways that you can incorporate it into your daily lifestyle. When you can align your health with your values, being healthy is not work, effort, or something to dread. As you remain aligned, in time, being healthy will become a natural extension of who you are as a woman of God.

Can you think of creating ways to incorporate your values into your healthy lifestyle?running
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P.S. We’re putting the finishing touches on our Haven e-course so stay tuned!

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