I am in the last stretch of my training to run 26.2 miles. On March 8, I will be running the Los Angeles Marathon from Dodger Stadium all the way to Santa Monica. I know pretty much the route and I am just waiting for the moment to cross the finish line. Every step I’ll take and every prayer I’ll recite will be my offering to the Lord. That Sunday I won’t celebrate any Mass but the vigil on Saturday when I will do the blessing of shoes. By the way, Runners World magazine published an article about a fellow priest who inspire me to bless all runner’s shoes of our parish and run for Jesus: https://www.runnersworld.com/news/a20859707/running-priest-to-offer-special-mass-before-louisiana-marathon/ All the stamina accumulated during the last few months of my training is my physical fuel; my spiritual fuel is prayer and penance.
Physically speaking, so far, I have lost 25 pounds and counting. The great challenge losing weight was having some control over what I eat. I had my mom cooking for me delicious food and baking tasty cookies. I gave in into food for many months but the key to keeping losing weight is been eating small portions. and deinking lemon juice
Spiritually speaking, for years, I have struggled to finish praying the Holy Rosary. For some reason when I am riding my bike, walking or running, I concentrate better when I pray. I can finish several Divine Mercy Chaplets and even whole Rosaries while doing exercise. When I am standing still or kneeling while praying, it is difficult for me to concentrate. Most people think that priests do not have any problem praying. It is not like that. Many priests struggle to set time for prayer. That is why we priests ask for prayers from the People of God.
Conclusion: I have to be on the move in order to pray devotions. When I am static, praying devotions is very challenging. I can pray spontaneously while I don’t move, but when I am ready to work out is when I pray easily. It is like my muscles are connected to my soul and my heart is pumping blood and prayers at the same time.
I was wondering why this sort of thing happens to me? My own discernment and research had shown me that I am not alone experiencing this. https://www.uscatholic.org/articles/201509/faithful-runner-30377
For most of the people, losing weight is not fun. I have mixed reactions when I training it is very painful; watching at the results of my training is very pleasant. I am getting in shape, more endorphins and only a few hours to sleep but the satisfaction felt about serving the Lord is priceless. Please keep praying for me.
The following are old pictures that were taken when I ran my first marathon in 2008.