I forgot how hot southern summers could be here. I have been hearing peoples’ complaints and thinking to myself, “It can’t be worse than the Honduran North Coast.” It can’t be worse than a sunny, hot, humid, breeze-less day with no electrical power to allow your ceiling and floor fans to cool you off for a few seconds. It can’t get any worse than that. But, once upon a time, it actually felt worse… at lest to me.
A few Saturdays ago while husband took the kids on an outdoor adventure, I stayed home to enjoy a quiet morning. Then I decided to drive to a trail along our city’s river for a 45 minute jog. It was around 10:30 a.m. when I began; but twenty minutes later, I was exhausted! I arrived to one of the bridges, slowly picked up my legs to cross it, walked halfway across the bridge when I realized I was too tired to keep on going. That is when I decided to turn around. I did never made it to the other side of bridge or jog the 45 minutes I had set my mind to jog.
My walk back took forever. I was so thirsty. And when bikers passed, I wanted to stick my arm out and raise my thumb to ask for a ride. I remembered how entire families of four or five in Honduras would use one bike for transportation. Certainly someone could fit one more here! And as I drag my feet along the hot paved trail, suddenly people start to congregate around something. Two joggers who had passed me a long time ago, started to move in the opposite direction with upset and worried looks on their faces—and an extra water bottle. I kept looking back to see what all the commotion was about. I thought of Jesus’ story of The Good Samaritan. But that was it; I only thought about it and looked back. I had no more strength to walk back to the scene of action.
I asked a worried jogger what was going on. She told me a dog passed out on the trail. I had seen the dog and its owner jog and pass me on the way to the bridge. The owner looked fit. She jogged a lot faster than I did. But the day was really hot and humid: too hot for a big, shaggy and tired golden retriever. And so I thanked God I wasn’t the one who had passed out.
What will I do differently next time?
- Go to bed earlier the night before and get some sleep. I should not exercise when I am tired and haven’t had the appropriate amount of sleep. I need at least 8 hours. If I don’t get enough sleep, I don’t function well. I get irritated easier. I’m not patient. I can’t concentrate well.
- I will jog before the sun is completely up (5 a.m.-6 a.m.) or I will jog shortly before sundown. I like early morning jogs when people’s sprinklers are going off. Sometimes, they sprinkle on the sidewalk or on the street. It’s so fun to run by them and cool off a bit. It’s like being a kid again.
- I will drink plenty of water before and after the jog. My brother-in-law recommended drinking coconut milk (healthy electrolytes) and eating a sweet potato or a banana before the jog.
- Wear appropriate jogging attire and don’t forget to use sunscreen. I am aiming to have a few sleeveless jogging tanks and are looking out for modest jogging shorts (these are not so easy to find!).
There were a few moments I thought I would never make it to my car. Once I did, the outdoor temperature was 100° F. I was really unprepared for a mid-morning, hot summer jog!
“How long will you be here?” I’m frequently asked by friends, neighbors, acquaintances – just about everyone we meet. Perhaps they see through us. We are sojourners. “We are here now.” I respond. But the truth is, we will be here—where the summers are really hot, USA – until we are prepared for the next task, the next run. I strongly believe God will use this season to strengthen us as a family, build our faith, and equip us for doing His will. In the meantime, I will continue to train to run a little bit faster, to run a little bit further and a little bit smarter. How are your summer jogs going?
“Now may the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.”