I am a runner.

This is a fact that surprises me greatly. I never expected I’d learn to love running.

I’m forty-four years old, overweight, and (until recently) mostly out of shape. I have neglected my body in more ways than I care to admit. I’ve always thought that I was better off relying on my mind than my body, and so the body became mostly a lowly second class citizen whose purpose was to get the mind where it needed to go.

When I turned forty, I went sky-diving and felt suddenly more alive than I’ve ever felt before. Something changed in me and soon I was looking for other ways of feeling more present and alive in my life and my body.

Last Spring, after years of complaining of back aches and indented shoulders and shirts that never fit properly, I had breast reduction surgery. It was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. My posture improved, my self-image improved, my balance improved, and running no longer seemed like an unrealistic possibility.

Two months later, when the scars had healed, I started running and I haven’t stopped since. I fell in love with the way my feet hit the pavement and the way I felt connected to the earth and the weather and the air that I breathed.

One of the biggest surprises for me was the fact that my running soon became my spiritual practice. It felt like my body was reaching out to God in prayer as I moved, and my breath was settling into a rhythm of deep meditation.

This blog is about my running journey. More than a simple recounting of my exercise routine, though, it’s about how running has brought me to a place where body, mind, and soul are connecting to each other and being transformed.

p.s. If you want to read about what I’m doing when I’m not running, check out my other blog at www.sophialeadership.com or find out what kind of work I’m doing at my business site www.heatherplett.com.