By Chris Cotone
“And Behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age.” – Matthew 28:20
“Just keep going Chris”
These words I utter under my breath, as I try and regain a consistent breathing pattern. Struggling. First time running in months, what gives? I finally decided to get to work. This bridge that previews how it feels to be fully alive. Running. It’s a lifestyle, a ritual…some may even consider it a religion.
Personally, running connects me to something greater than myself.
It reinforces the idea of humility.
Slowly approaching the conclusion of my run, there’s a certain sensation that overcomes my body. Almost like a quick jolt of energy that resonates from my head through my toes. A brief moment of renewal. I can’t explain it. As my watch beeps to signal the end, I come to a halt, lift my eyes towards the sky, and say to myself,
“Lord, thank you for your strength. You are truly present with me.”
This feeling is what makes it for me. I am never alone on my journey. Christ surrounds me through my suffering and continues to demonstrate his abundant love for me. I see how He interacts with nature and with my senses to reveal more about Himself to me. God creates these moments to satisfy needs and to be that extra boost that is truly fulfilling to the mind, body, and soul.
What drives me though? This concept of engaging and immersing oneself into becoming fully alive.
I think to be fully alive is to discover a joy that fulfills your heart’s desires, and is present with you through every life experience.
I catch moments of these during my runs, and I feel like the weight of the world has been lifted off my shoulders. My goal is to be fully alive in everything I do, and to truly experience God’s love throughout.
While this is my mindset, I often fail to respond. There’s times where I am consumed with schoolwork and just don’t put the time aside to run. The anxieties that come with allowing everything around me control what I do. I tell myself, “slow down and center yourself.” I think with anything that helps connect myself with God, I feel this certain tug on my heart. It’s almost like a call that brings about feelings of enthusiasm, peace and happiness, all at one time, and many times in the form of tears.
Any time I feel this way I know it’s time to take a deep breath, take a break, and run.
To have this opportunity to experience Christ and see how He is a true manifestation of sacrifice and immersion is something that motivates me to live that example. Run with Him in mind, and He’ll help you discover your heart’s desires.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Chris Cotone is a current undergraduate student at John Carroll University, where he is majoring in Integrated Marketing Communications with a double minor in Catholic Studies and Business. Born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio, he loves all things CLE. You can find Chris spending time with friends and family, usually watching Cleveland sports or playing music with his dad.