Today is Ash Wednesday, and the beginning of the Lent on the Catholic and Protestant church calendar. It is generally 40 days before Easter, and began today. (Last night was Fat Tuesday, the blow out party before the beginning of Lent.)
I am not Catholic, nor am I an overly religious person. I attend church (Protestant) fairly regularly, and our minister is incredibly well educated, traveled and read. His message is almost universally positive, thoughtful and practical.
Several weeks ago, our minister was speaking of the upcoming Lent season, and its meaning and significance even in a non-Catholic faith. In essence, he said that the tradition of "giving something up for Lent" is not one in our church, but rather a tradition we should all contemplate. Rather than view it as "giving something up" we should take the opportunity to make a change, try out something new, and make an improvement in our lives. Maybe it is dedicating oneself to volunteering for a charity, or reading a book, spending more time with the family or a more tangible change in daily life, but view the Lent tradition as an opportunity to make change.
So what does this have to do with running? I am not sure. I have contemplated those words for weeks, and still not sure what to do. I can dedicate myself to any number of things, but have to be real about my ability to follow through. For example, I could resolve to work out in the mornings (not evenings); I could give up alcohol (something I have seriously considered); give up red meat; or simply to eat more vegetables.
Perhaps, the best way to view this day, for me, is simply to reflect on the changes I can make, and to actually do one. Thus, I resolve (i) to give up beer and hard liquor, which I don't really drink anyway (wine will still be OK, in moderation); and (ii) to work out in the morning two days a week.
I'll give these changes a "test drive" and see how they work....
Oh, and today is my younger daughter's second birthday! Happy birthday!