There are two words avid runners loathe- “Stress Fracture”.
These two words can mean a runner must stop running for up to 16 weeks, and in some extreme cases, six entire months!
According to cleavlandclinic.org, Stress fractures are defined as, “a very small crack in the bone which is the result from repetitive trauma and is commonly seen in athletes – particularly long-distance runners”.
Here’s the deal: stress fractures are avoidable.
Before a stress fracture occurs, there had to be a stress reaction.
This is usually identifiable by an annoying throbbing and tender like feeling over a portion of bone during or after runs.
You would think the initial onset of pain would be enough to alter a workout — instead cross training using less impactful exercises such as biking, elliptical, or even swimming — but runners have the tendency to push through the pain.
And it just gets worse.
For some elite athletes, this is career ending.
The best self-care starts with soul care
3 John 1:2 (NIV) states, “dear friend, I pray that you may enjoy good health and that all may go well with you, even as your soul is getting along well”.
The Apostle John is writing to his friend Gaius to commend him for his faithfulness to the gospel through his gift of hospitality.
Good health, according to John, should reflect the condition of our soul which should be in excellent shape.
The best self-care starts with soul care.
When our soul is not in tune with our Creator, we experience spiritual stress reactions that have the potential to turn into full on stress fractures.
While poor diet and overuse are the two most common issues that lead to stress fractures, Kingdom Runners must take Job’s example, where one esteemed God’s Word more than his/her necessary food.
As we run this race, looking unto God, we can avoid spiritual stress fractures created by the deceitfulness of sin.
Psalm 119:105 answers the question of how to do this with the natural response, “By living according to Your Word”.
Sin is separation, and God has got the cure.
Every runner needs to find balance in their walk.
We need to Cross-train. We need to keep our eyes focused on the Cross.
Jesus stated in Luke 9:23 (NIV), “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me”.
A common definition of insanity has classically been stated as, “trying the same old things and expecting different results”.
If there is pain when you run, perhaps you should alter your training.
Don’t allow that stress reaction to form into a stress fracture- that’s insane!
If you’re struggling with sin today, realize this, there is
“no temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind.
And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear.
But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.”
Jesus Christ wants you to experience holistic health, in body and in soul.
How’s your soul today friend?
Reflection and Prayer:
- What are some areas in your life that you have been using the same approaches/strategies and yet expecting different results?
- Are you experiencing some ‘stress fractures’ in your spiritual life right now?
What is God trying to tell you to do in your situation?
- How is your soul-care in this season of your life?