I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well
–Psalm 139:14 (NIV)
Have you ever studied anatomy and physiology? I don’t mean do you have a degree in biology, but have you ever read a book, or even an article about any aspect of how the human body is constructed and how it functions? We truly are “fearfully and wonderfully made!” Our bodies are made up of about 37,000,000,000,000 (yes 37 trillion!) cells, each of which is a complex machine in itself with a specific function. The cells are built into 79 organs, each again a complex machine with a specific purpose. Every time I read about any of these, I am moved to worship the incomprehensibly brilliant God who designed it all!
Of course thousands of books have been written about the wonders of the human body by believers and unbelievers alike. Even the most confirmed atheist stands in awe of the amazing machine the human body is. Now, I am no expert, but there are 2 of the millions of wonderful features of the human body that I want to share about today. The first is pain. Of course we don’t like pain, and typically go the great lengths to avoid it. Yet pain is a good thing! Pain is the physiological equivalent of John the Baptist, crying out “something is wrong, and you must do something about it!” Now while John was talking about spiritual maladies, pain tells us there is something wrong in our bodies, and we must pay attention. Just as Jesus admonished the religious leaders for failing to heed John’s warning, we must take pain seriously as we train for running or walking.
In our sport, we need to learn to distinguish between soreness and pain. Soreness is a byproduct of a good workout. All it needs it a little stretching and some rest. Pain, on the other hand, requires more attention. I wish I had a formula to tell you precisely how to distinguish between the two. But I do not. One simple test, if the feeling is not too strong, is to walk or jog. Walking and light jogging will often reduce soreness, but usually make pain worse. If the pain increases, stop!
The other wonderful feature of our bodies I want to discuss is the ability to heal themselves. God built self-healing capabilities into the human body, as well as those of other creatures as well. How awesome is that? Many milder running injuries can be addressed by using RICE (rest, ice, compression, and elevation) which encourages the body’s built-in healing mechanisms to do their thing. More on RICE here: https://www.webmd.com/first-aid/rice-method-injuries
If you have any doubts, PLEASE call your doctor! While many injuries respond well to RICE, more serious ones require medical intervention. Again, if you’re not sure, let your doctor make the call.
If you have been following our training plan, you are actually engaging yet another wonderful feature God designed. As we work our bodies they respond by becoming stronger. How cool is that? So, here is this week’s slightly harder plan. Enjoy, and feel free to reach out to me with any questions or concerns. God bless!
Begin each workout with a 5-minute walk, then:
Day 1 Walk for 1 minute, jog for 4 minutes. Repeat 4 times, followed by 5 minutes of walking.
Day 2 Walk for 1 minute, jog for 4 minutes. Repeat 4 times, followed by 5 minutes of walking.
Day 3 Walk for 1 minute, jog for 4 minutes. Repeat 4 times, followed by 5 minutes of walking.
Day 4 (Optional) Walk for 1 minute, jog for 4 minutes. Repeat 4 times, followed by 5 minutes of walking.
Day 1 Walk 35 minutes at an easy pace.
Day 2 Walk 35 minutes at an easy pace.
Day 3 Walk 35 minutes at an easy pace.
Day 4 (Optional) Walk 35 minutes at an easy pace.