I had twelve miles to run yesterday in preparation for a half-marathon on Saturday. Twelve whole miles. Thankfully, it wasn’t snowing like the previous Sunday, but it wasn’t sunny, either. I wasn’t exactly looking forward to it. However, I was looking forward to the continuation of the radio series I’ve been listening to on my iPod each week on my long run.
Usually, I just listen to music while I run. With the music in the background, I can think about the upcoming day, reflect on the previous one, or mentally run over my to-do list (which seems to be never-ending). But on these long runs, the music doesn’t quite do it. It gets repetitive, and I start counting miles way before I should.
My solution? Adventures in Odyssey. My family started listening to the radio series on road trips when I was little, and we’ve continued the tradition ever since. Recently, I unearthed a few of the volumes and started listening while running. I’d push play, and before I know it, 7, 8, 9 miles are done!
Today’s twelve miles were cold, yes. My knees and feet hurt by the end, yes. I was ready to be done, yes. But while my body was working hard, my thoughts were with the characters in the story—not on how many more miles remained on my route. What a beautiful escape.
Story has the power to take us to another world, with different problems and people and triumphs and lessons, and somehow, we never leave that world unaffected. Story changes people—in big ways and small. Story reflects life with all its joys and challenges and opportunities to learn. And, not to mention, it makes twelve miles much more enjoyable.