Christian Living at Full Tilt


Kids don’t know how to jog. They only know how to run themselves breathless then collapse in contemplation of the clouds … or in giggles.

Yesterday’s unseasonably warm temperatures made it impossible to stay indoors. At 75 degrees, I went to a nearby lake park where everyone, their kids, and their dogs were walking, jogging, running, fishing, and watching turtles sun themselves on logs.

Actually, only the grownups were jogging. They had determined faces on and earbuds in and clearly intended to keep going no matter what.

The little kids, on the other hand, were doing what kids do on a spring-like day when there’s mud underfoot and new green pushing up and turtles making like bumps on logs all over the lake. They were running full tilt, arms every which way, “ya-ya-ya-ya-ya!” until they ran out of breath. Then, coached by their parents, they were tippying on exaggerated toes to someplace near the edge of the lake where they stood like tiny quivering statues, the better to see the turtles without sending them splashing off their logs to safety.

Once they’d gotten their fill of turtle watching, it was back to  “ya-ya-ya-ya-ya!”

No one needs to teach a kid interval training. For them, it’s entirely natural to go full tilt, collapse into contemplation, then go full tilt again.

Watching those little guys, I remembered how much I love to run and how little I like to jog. How much I love to speed on my bicycle and how little I like to just ride it. I looked around to see if there was anyone watching. And I started running full tilt along the muddy trail.

It didn’t take all that long before my wind caught me up. But I walked; enjoyed the light on the water and the smell of the coming season. I checked again for any onlookers. And took off at a sprint.

A couple miles of wind sprints seems like a lot when you haven’t let yourself run for a long time. But wow, was it fun!

I’m going to need more sprints in my days: a sprint of writing for a client followed by a short “walk” into a writer who nurtures me; a sprint of administrative effort followed by a short “walk” into a project that’s more hands-on. We’re built to run fast, breathe hard and deep. We’re also built to move more slowly, so we have space to “be still and know … God.”

Jogging is for grim grownups. I’ve been too grownup for much too long. I’m ready to run.


About Carlene Hill Byron

The former editor of New England Church Life and The New England Christian, Carlene Hill Byron is enjoying being home in Maine after 20 years in North Carolina. She is a member of the Redbud Writers Guild. Find her at, and on Facebook at MyHouseHasHistory.
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