The Treadmill Life

The Treadmill Life

The treadmill is good.  On cold, rainy days, the treadmill provides a warm, dry workout.  I use the treadmill often in the dark winter months when I rely heavily on artificial light.  However, the treadmill is also a boring road to nowhere.  It is a paltry falsification of the real thing: a run outside.




Running outside is better.  I can think of few things that are more relaxing than a warm, breezy outdoor run at the park.  Sunshine pours through the trees, and I absorb the beautiful golden rays.  The jog takes me somewhere, and there is freedom.



Life is good.  At least, life on earth has many good things: family, friends, sunshine, running, cookies, photography, etc.  But while there are many good things on earth, life on earth is like running on a treadmill.  This temporary life is a mediocre substitution for life in heaven.

stars at the grand canyon

Eternal life is better. 

No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no heart has imagined, what God has prepared for those who love Him.

– I Corinthians 2:9

The joys of heaven cannot be compared to the minimal goodness of earth.  Heaven is lit by the glory of God (Revelation 21:23) and is filled with everlasting worship (Revelation 4).  The bejeweled city is free from the curse of sin (Revelation 21-22).  We will have new bodies that never face hunger or death (Revelation 7:16).  Most importantly, we will have pure fellowship with the Father (Revelation 22:3).

All winter long, I run on the treadmill, preparing for the day that will be warm enough, bright enough, and dry enough for an outdoor run.

Likewise, we must redeem our time on earth and prepare for eternity in the presence of God.

Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.

– Ephesians 5:15-16


Simple Joy Saturday #9

Simple Joy Saturday #9

Every Saturday I share three simple things that brought me happiness during the week.  These posts may grow or evolve as time passes.  Please feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section!

1. The Rail Trail  

Next time you want to run in Trumbull, CT, go to Pequonnock River Valley.

2. New jars of Blind Spot Nutbutter

I think this has been a simple joy before, but I always get excited when I get to try new flavors from my favorite nut butter company. Any suggestions for what I should do with the Thai Peanut Sauce?

3. The new Pine Cove Camps Instagram series.

I admit it, I am just using this post to brag that my idea made it somewhere beyond my brain.

Simple Joy Saturday #7

Simple Joy Saturday #7

Every Saturday I share three simple things that brought me happiness during the week.  These posts may grow or evolve as time passes.  Please feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section!

October 7-13

1. Running at the park after work (and listening to audio books on my MP3 player — see #3).

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I Already Broke My New Years Resolution

I Already Broke My New Years Resolution


I thought that it was a good, attainable resolution.  The plan was to run a 10k on April 22, the day after I finish student teaching.  Ten kilometers is less than 6.5 miles, so it really isn’t that hard of a run, and I have nearly four months to prepare.  I printed off a mild training guide (3 days of running, 2 days of cross-training, and 2 days of rest every week), and I filled out the application for the race.


The first week went really well.  I did every single workout, getting decent times on my runs.  I hit a set-back at the beginning of week two when the world was covered in snow, but I was still determined to keep at it.

Then yesterday came, Friday of week two, and I did NOT want to go to the gym.  I did not want to run on a treadmill.  I wanted to skip my workout.

So I started to analyze why:

  • I was tired.  However, most people are tired, so I didn’t count that as a valid excuse.
  • I felt rushed.   Every day after student teaching, I had to rush to the gym, change quickly, and run as fast as I could so that I could make it to supper on time.
  • I didn’t enjoy the runs.  In fact, I would run on the treadmill overlooking the pool and think about how much I would rather be swimming.
  • I missed my old workouts.  I missed swimming, Pop Pilates, Zumba, and slow jogs through Old Salem.

I gave in.  I didn’t go to the gym.  I didn’t run.  Instead, I went to my dorm room and wrote lesson plans.

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I didn’t completely throw yesterday’s workout to the wolves.  Later last night, I did  PIIT while watching Chopped, and it was great.  It was relaxing, fun, and everything that a workout should be.  I even went to the gym this morning…to swim, and it was everything that I missed.

Yes, I broke my New Year’s Resolution, but I am glad that I did.

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…in an ironic turn of events, a blog hat I frequent just posted, “92% of people fail to maintain their fitness resolutions be the end of the year.”  At least I am in good company 🙂

Image result for new year resolution ecard

30 before 30: Color Run

30 before 30: Color Run


When I began compiling my 30 before 30 list back in the fall, the Color Run was one of the first activities I added.  I love to run, and I love bright colors, so why not enjoy the two together?  Last month, my brother invited me to join his Color Run team, and I jumped at the chance was initially excited…until I saw the entrance fee.  Ultimately, though, I could not pass up the opportunity to begin whittling down my goals the day after my birthday.  So, I bit the bullet, pulled out my debit card (telling myself that it would count as a self-given birthday present), and prepared for race day.


With the wintry weather and my work hours, I was not able to “train” for the run.  Thankfully, the Color Run is completely casual–no time clocks, no winner, no prizes.


Seven thousand people (and a few animals) participated in the Color Run today.  I ran with the second group and finished before the last group even had a chance to start.


This was truly the happiest 3.1 miles I had ever run.  With each spray of color, I grinned bigger (which led to a few mouthfuls of colored corn starch).


Although I will probably be wiping yellow dust out of my left ear until 2016, I have no regrets!

Shine on!


Trail Mix Muffins

Trail Mix Muffins


What do you do while something is in the oven?  Do you read? Blog? Dance? Clean the kitchen? Watch television?

The day that I made these trail mix muffins, I went for a one-mile run as soon as I put the muffins in the oven.  I set the timer for 25 minutes and took off, knowing that (1) my mom would be in the kitchen just in case something happened, and (2) I would be back from the run in less than ten minutes.

My muffins burned.  When I calculated baking time, I failed to take into consideration the size of the muffins and fact that I was using a metal pan.  The good news is that they still tasted great…they just look a little, um, dark.  As I sat to write this post, I chose to only photograph the prettiest of the muffins, and I adjusted the baking time in the directions.

But really, try them! They are great!

Trail Mix Muffins


  • 1 ripe banana
  • 3/4 cup milk of choice
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 cup oatmeal
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 cup mix of nuts and dried fruits (I used a mix of almonds, peanuts, cashews, and raisins)


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Mash the banana and mix in milk and vanilla.
  • Add oatmeal, cinnamon, baking powder, and salt.  Mix well.
  • Stir in nuts and fruit.
  • Spray a 6-count muffin pan with nonstick spray.
  • Evenly distribute the batter between all six cups.
  • Bake for approximately 20 minutes or until light brown (it may be in your best interest to not go for a run at this time 🙂 ).
  • Let cool before removing from the pan (they will crumble in to granola if you don’t let them cool!)
  • Eat and enjoy!


Racing Rabbits

Racing Rabbits


There are some definite differences between running at home and running at school.

At school, I run on sidewalks, and I must be constantly aware of the people around me. Some people greet me; other people zoom around me. I occasionally pause at stop-lights, and I usually walk the last 1/2 mile because the road turns steeply uphill. I constantly change my trail to pass different sites–1 mile takes me past the gazebo, two miles leads me through God’s Acre, and three miles directs me to the playground. The only animals are leashed dogs and the rare in-flight bird.

The lonely, rural gravel road at home is a welcome change. In the solitude, my own thoughts distract me. The occasional car seeks my protection, slowing down and pulling into the other lane. Runs are leisurely here, and, while I still face NC hills, none are as menacing as the one at school. I only have two running options: one mile or two miles. Either way, I see much of the same things–fields, hay, houses, and gardens. The animals are the best part of running at home. Delicate deer, strolling skunks, haughty horses, scampering squirrels, carefree cows, and bellowing birds accompany me as I romp across the gravel.

The best part of running at home, however, is the rabbits. Almost daily, a rabbit will dart across the road into the bushes. I always have to smile at the memory of the tortoise and the hare.

Being a runner, many people like to use running analogies with me. “It’s a marathon,” they say, “not a sprint.” I am to be the tortoise, slowly pushing through life, determined to not take a break, to not get discouraged, to not give up until the finish line. Paul wrote in Philippians 3:13-14, ”
Brothers and sisters, I know that I have not yet reached that goal, but there is one thing I always do. Forgetting the past and straining toward what is ahead, I keep trying to reach the goal and get the prize for which God called me through Christ to the life above.”

On I press, not looking back, not sprinting ahead.  I continually work towards the prize.

Slow and steady wins the race.