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by Rebecca A. Chamberlain-Creanga
When I run, I feel God’s pleasure,” is a well-known line from the classic 1981 film, Chariots of Fire. For those new to running, the high-impact activity can feel anything but enjoyable.
I still remember when I first started running 25 years ago. It was a feat to run 1½ miles without stopping down my remote country road in northern Michigan. Never did I think I would go on to run competitively in college halfway across the country as a three-season distance runner and train other young, aspiring runners at a leading running camp. Never did I imagine I would set college records (one still stands) and achieve All-New England and All-East Coast (and All-Scholar) status on an NCAA Division III national championship team.
The greatest part of my running journey, though, has been its role in my spiritual growth and relationship with God. A once-nominal churchgoer, I found a love for church and Bible study in high school and college. The church and Bible helped me wrestle with my own dreams and limitations, as I experienced them in my running, academic striving and beyond. Running, in a sense, got me in the door to the church as a teenager, and then God did the rest, still working on me to this day, as in all of us.
Although I hung up my racing spikes after college, I continue, almost 20 years later, to treasure daily runs as a time to commune with God. Running is no longer about setting a record or beating my PR (personal record); it is about feeling God’s pleasure and connection to His beautiful earth and our humanity…which sometimes includes aching knees and pulled tendons. I often have some of my greatest “ah-ha” epiphany moments with God while running. Now I want to share with others this love for running and its connection to our spiritual lives.
In this spirit, in partnership with Christ Church Cranbrook clergy, staff and lay leaders, the idea was born to pilot a CCC Running Club. The group is intended for those new to running, but is equally for avid and longtime runners.
The primary goal of the group is to build fellowship and community among CCC members and attendees. The group also celebrates our parish commitment to health and wellness, providing running tips and training insights for club attendees. In addition, the group has the potential for outreach into the community, inviting our friend and neighbors to join us for a run in the beautiful CCC environs.
The club will have its first gathering on Saturday, June 10 at 10:00 AM in front of the church. It will continue to meet on the second and fourth Saturdays of the month. We will have running groups for varying intensity and experience levels. There is no such thing as being too fast or too slow, as we will all be gathered, first and foremost, for community and fellowship. Please join us when you can for a fun summer run!