There's no way!
Lysa invited me to start running with her a couple years ago. I tried it...once...when we were away on a writing/staff retreat. I nearly died! That girl can run for miles and miles and miles. Now you need to know - we were in the mountains where there is not enough oxygen to breath when you are just walking let alone running. And there are lots of hills. I'll tell ya she just about killed me!!! I was gasping for air while she carried on a full-blown conversation. I had to stop running to answer to her questions.

I never ran with her again, although she did invite (bug) me again and again. Finally, she gave up. However, a few short months later she started inviting (bugging) me about going with her to adult gymnastics class. Now why would I do that? She was talking about bars and beams, pull ups and push ups. It sounded very painful and dangerous. Although I was quite impressed with her Olympic-sized commitment and her new found muscles, I was not a bit interested in having some of my own - not with all that work. "There's no way!" I told her.

Fast forward two years. My husband decides that although he has arthritis he is going to run a half-marathon. He asks me to run with him in Knoxville, TN. I remind him of the oxygen and hills situation and basically say - no way, no can do.

He trains for months and runs 13 miles straight, up and down the hills of Knoxville. He comes home and tells me he is praying that I will start running with him - like I used to do when we first got married. Oh great! Now I'm feeling all out of shape and like a wife who's husband is looking for some recreational romance and I'm just a slug.

Last month JJ decided to run a full marathon this December on Kiawah Island, SC. He tells me there are no hills and the average temp is 70 degrees. He hints at me training to do the half-marathon. Then little Miss Olympics starts bugging me about doing adult gymnastics again. And in the same week my very dear friend Melissa tells me she is running a half-marathon, in Kiawah, in December. (Yes, the same race JJ is running in!)

So now I have three people who I love to spend time with asking me to stretch my schedule, my faith and my muscles in ways I never have before!! And something crazy in me wants to. Somehow I feel God calling me to do that which I cannot do!

Last Monday I decided to go with Lysa to gymnastics. And I talked my very sweet friend Holly into going with me! I told her I'd do anything for her if she'd go look like a fool by my side. Oh my gosh! It hurt so bad I could barely move the next day but oddly I felt great afterwards - well in my mind anyway. I had tons of energy and slept better that week than I had in months. I've been going now for over a week - and I CAN do it! And it's really making me feel better. I have more energy, less aches in my back, shoulders and neck and my chronic headaches are gone!

Here is a photo of us this morning at the gym. That white blob in my mouth is bubble gum - it helps me balance.

Here is a lovely shot that truly reflects the pain I am enduring - for the loves of my life!

But with the pain I got a little gain!

This is just too much fun to keep to ourselves, so
we've decided to start a new division called P31 You Go Girl Gymnastics. For more fun photos, click here to go to Lysa's blog .

Okay, so guess what else? Last night JJ signed me up for the half marathon in Kiawah - without force! I committed to train and run with Melissa and JJ (he's got a friend running the whole marathon with him). We ran our first two miles this week and it was just like when we first got married - just like he thought it would be.

This weekend our family is going to the mountains for some tubing down the river! Now that is my kind of recreation. Have a fun weekend! I'm praying for all of you to be, do and become all that you never thought you could be!


Blogger Kate said...

Good for you! I think it's so easy for us to kind of slack off on the things we used to do with our husbands before, sometimes just because we'd be doing it with them. I was just blogging about that same thing yesterday. Hopefully it's good for your body AND your relationship. Shared goals and, yes (probably) shared pain. Haha. Good luck!

Blogger Joyful said...

SOOO impressed!!!!! I'm cheering you on!!!! Reading about Lysa, Melissa and you inspired me...I actually...ACTUALLY...started back on the elliptical this afternoon. it's not really running...but it feels great to be back getting some exercise!

Thanks for the motivation!
Have a great weekend!!!
Walking (and running) with Him,

Blogger Marla Taviano said...

That's so great! I'm almost inspired to do the same!

Blogger Pamela (MrsJoeB) said...

I feel fat reading Lysa and your posts...hummmm. I wish you the best in the marathon!!
Have a blast with your family this weekend. We have a daughter turning 16 tomorrow so there will be drama and excitement at our house!!

In His Graces~Pamela

Blogger Marilyn said...

Sadly to say it would probably take a LOT of prayers for me to DO, BE, and BECOME what I've never dared to imagine! I long to be able to physically do what I am seeing you and Lysa do in today's pics on both your and her blog! I admire ya'll for getting in there and getting fit! I'm cheering you on from the sidelines! :)

Marilyn in MS

Blogger Heather Conrad said...

You go girl(s)! It'll be an awesome adventure! Monday marks the 2 year anniversary of the day the Lord asked me to run. He's carried me through 2 half marathons, a full marathon, and am currently training for another full in October. It has become such a special time for me to simply be in his presence and to hear from Him - many lessons learned. Keep persisting, it's not always "fun" but the rewards are priceless! Oh, and by the way, don't freak out if you lose a toe nail or two, just "marks" of a runner :)

Blogger Holly said...

You inspire me in so many ways Renee - where do I begin?
Loved spending time with you today...thanks.

Blogger Cas said...

You go girl!!! That's a very inspiring story and I pray God's gift of endurance for you and continued closeness with your husband and friends because of this newly, re-discovered "passion" for running. I'm sure God has something absolutely wonderful in store for you during your training days and I pray you will keep your heart open to them.

I too, could really use some exercise but I'm of the same mind set as Marla.....I'm almost inspired enough to do it.

To Holly, you are so blessed you have such a friend as Renee; thank God for her every day.

Anonymous Joanie said...

You go girl! I'm excited for you. I know that you and JJ will have a great time at the marathon. What a way to show your man that he is still tops in your book.

Blogger Amy L Brooke said...

Good job. Wish I had someone to exercise with. Timing doesn't work for most people I know.

Last summer I tried to start running. Allison was teaching me. We would run/walk about 2 miles. But then she moved away and I found I just couldn't do it alone. Well, I could, but I didn't enjoy it at all. Part of it for me was the relationship.

Here is my prayer request: Someone to get regular time with. Everyone is just so busy and I get time here and there but I so crave regular time. I would even endure exercise for it.

Blogger Amy L Brooke said...

ps. Your picture (as well as a few others) made it on my frig as a reminder to pray for you! :-) Usually, I reserve the frig for my kid friends, but I moved everything around and made room for 5 pics of my big people friends!

Blogger Mari said...

I could never ever do those things you were doing in the picture. Amazing! And good for you for taking care of God's temple.

Best of luck on the marathon. Somehow I think you don;t really need it :)

Blogger Debbie Giese said...

Good for you! Actually, Lysa's blog a month or so ago has inspired me to start walking/jogging.If she can stagger, lope, trip towards the water tower in the distance, so can I. I go at 5:30am so no one really sees me. My kids got me technology (a memory card for my phone) for my bday in June, so I can listen to my favorite Christian tunes and get my praise on, as I like to say as I jog through our neighborhood. I'm leaning more toward a 5k than a marathon, but who knows what surprises the future holds. Keep up the good work!

Blogger Chef Diane said...

Only one thing to write after that post is:

Two Snaps and a Whistle and Go Girl!

Blogger Bonnelle Pagel said...

You guys are great and it's so cool to see you taking care of yourselves and your friendship. What an inspiration to us all!! Working full-time doesn't allow much time for going to the gym but I did go for a walk tonight and it helped relieve the stress of the day. Thanks for the pictures and the encouragement to get out an move. Congratulations!!


Go on girl! Get your praise on while you're at it. I love to run. Not fast. I consider just finishing an accomplishment. My body appreciates the discipline. I think my Jesus does too!


oh Renee.... I honestly think about running.... I think I could do it, if I got a few REALLY good songs on my iPod.... and started slow...?

Oh, Renee.... do you think I could do it? I never did (since 5th grade). I would love to be more fit. I would love to have more energy and stamina and to sweat... I think that is really good for skin. (Not that I know the science, I just think it has to be.)

SERIOUSLY? It's late, late July and you are going to be really ready to run a half-marathon in December? I had NO IDEA that one could train for something like that in such a short time. That is SO COOL, and SO INSPIRING.

I do own tennis shoes for the first time in several years....

Blogger Joanne said...

That is just too sweet that your hubby wants you by his side for a marathon.

I mean, how can one half run alone with his other half sitting out?!?

Joanne :O)

p.s. I am humbled by your jump splits my friend.

Blogger Victoria said...

Check out the Jeff Galloway program for running too. My husband used it to run his first marathon and he felt great afterward!

Blogger Running My Race said...

Hi Friend,
You both look so cute. I am proud of you, working out is so good for the soul. Tell J.J. way to go for me as well. I actually just got back from the mountains myself. Took the kids camping with some friend before I head out to prison :) that sounds funny or maybe not if you don't know me. I did get your call, thanks. I emailed you at the radio address. God provided above and beyond, thanks so much for your love and support. I will talk to you very soon. I love you my friend to the sky and back.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

It looks like y'all had a blast at the gymnastic class. That split is impressive!! My body would never be that flexible!!

Excersizing is such a bore to me and I know that I would feel better if I set my mind to it. You are blessed to have friends along for the journey-especially your hubby! Have a great weekend tubing with your boys!!

Blogger Edie said...

I loved everybit of this post! You look so cute out there giving it your all and hanging out with friends. Obviously God has plans for this venture. ;D

Blogger tiggerdaisy said...

You go girl!!! After reading Lysa's post, I looked into adult gymnastics...but there are none where I live. ARGH! But I can walk...I need to walk!

Thanks for the inspiration!

Prayers and blessings,

Blogger Paula (SweetPea) said...

I enjoyed Lysa's photos and description on her blog and now I've enjoyed your spin on this. You are a hoot. Hope you are having fun this weekend, relaxing and not running. haha

Blogger JMBMOMMY said...

I am impressed with those pictures. We lived in one of the neighborhoods by downtown for a while and watched all the runners running in Knoxville--does that count :) you'll have a blast and never regret it!

Blogger Melissa said...

RENEE!!!!!!!!!!!! OMGsh!!!! Your spread eagle looks amazing!! You got skills girlfriend! Jeff and I looked at your blog and we both are majorly impressed! We are so gonna rock doing 13.1 in December!

I'd love to run with you this Saturday. It's HG's birthday so I have to do breakfast with her first, but then I'd love to run. Call me.

Love you girlie!

Blogger Lynn Cowell said...

My husband has asked me a couple of times to do Kiawah with him. I did a 1/2 way back when (at 17!). I told him you, JJ and Melissa were doing it and he said, "Let's do it!". I guess I better pray about it and get moving a little faster than I am with my dog now!

Blogger JMBMOMMY said...

You've received an AWARD! Check out my blog today at see it. :)

Blogger Breanne Vasquez said...

That is great . I need to get back in to working out. That looks like a blast.

Blogger Tracy said...

Thanks for sharing this. I know God has been nudging be back towards exercising again, and I think this may have tipped me over the edge to finally get started. You probably don't remember this, but when you came to speak at our retreat in Blacksburg year before last, I mentioned my weight struggles in a devotional I gave and you commented afterwards that many women need to hear that message and that I should be prepared that even though I wanted to lose weight, God might now allow me to take it off.
That stuck with me and since then every time I've tried to get back to exercising I've had some kind of health crisis...a herniated disc, thyroid surgery, and most recently an MS diagnosis.
I'm realizing now more than ever that I can't let those things hinder me and my desire to glorify God in all things, including my health and appearance! Even if the weight never comes off (and I'm praying it will) exercising can only serve to make me healthier and stronger!
Thanks and God bless...
Tracy Altizer

Blogger Tracy said...

Oops, in reading over what I just posted I saw that I wrote "the weight might now come off" when it should read "might NOT come off." Just wanted to fix that...:)

Kudos to you in your training!

Blogger MrsProverbs31 said...

Girl, you can jump. Ouch! I can't even do with sitting down. Goodness, gracious. Okay, i am convicted to exercise. Perhaps, I can wake up on time for devotional.

Blogger Runner Mom said...

Renee, I am SOOoooo proud of you!! You go girl!! Kiawah is a great place for your first half marathon. Trust me!! We go every other year to run. This is our year off--I am so sorry that I won't be there to cheer you on!! Woohoo!!'re close to Charleston with shopping and eating!! There's a good restuarant on the island if you don't want to go all the way to Chas. Let me know, and I'll get you some info. The most important things to me in running is to have FUN, FELLOWSHIP, and FOOD!!
Love ya,

Blogger Chatty Kelly said...

I wish I had an exercise friend to spur me on. I type this half in fear that God may provide!! I like the sofa...and ice cream...but I hate being a slug.

Hope you enjoy your program and being like a newlywed again!

Blogger Micca said...

Anyone who can still do a split, doesn't have to prove she can run a marathon! I'd tell J.J. when he can do a split, then you'll run!

You rock--totally!!


Blogger Lelia Chealey said...

I told Lysa when I saw these pics on her blog that this should be the opening act for 2009 She Speaks!! ;)

Okay, I must admit, reading about the half marathon, training, adult gymnastics, I can feel the inner athlete in me start to awaken. Poor thing she has been hibernating for years now and everytime she begs to be let out of her cave I stuff her mouth with ice cream. Ben & Jerry's Cake Batter. The whole pint. I need to make some serious changes. Thanks for the motivation. I really should give this to God because He knows how many times I've been motivated only to give up. Prayer would be good her. :)
Thanks Renee!!

Blogger Lelia Chealey said...

By the way, I look forward to reading about your progress and training. Hmmm....accountablity to your many readers? :)

Keep us posted and don't quit like I have! You can do this Renee!! Will be praying for you.

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