Who Said Running Was Cheap?
Last night my husband and mom had a long conversation about the expenses of running. I know we all have our hobbies and running seems to be mine. My husband also has his hobby. He likes to look for deals on speakers and sound audio stuff. The great thing about Michael’s hobby is that he gets to try the stuff out in our theater room, then he sells them. It doesn’t really cost us anything but makes a mess of the room as you can see in the picture! At least he is having some fun with it! Since we have a family of 6, we do watch our budget and make sure that we do not overspend. So the question came up last night. How much is all this running costing us?
My heart sank because all I could think is that my husband must think I am crazy because he wanted to figure out the cost of all my running adventures with my mom. Oh no, do I really have to tell him? So we calculated the cost of all the races, shoes, running gear, and hotel costs. We added up over $2,400! It was kind of scary but we just started to laugh. I know that is a lot of money so now I will have to justify the spending.
This is the only hobby I have that I actually spend money on. I am a very fugal person. So is it worth all the cost or am I just plain crazy? Since last year was the first year that we ran, a lot of the items that I purchased will be used year after year so now that I have most everything I need, I should be good to go!
I would consider myself a low maintenance person. I do not get my hair done professionally, although I may look better if I did. My nails are maintained and groomed by me. No fancy nails here! My wedding set is my only “real” jewelery. I do not find joy in diamonds, my husband could have bought me a cheap cubic ring and I would have been just fine! All my clothes are from the clearance rack and my shoes are cheap. Sadly, I have spend more money on compression socks than my own clothes. Something must be wrong with me!
Did I mention that I use coupons to feed my family as well? We have a stash of food that has been purchased for pennies and my children can live on spaghetti and macaroni 7 days a week. Right? Don’t worry, I have cheap cans of vegetables as well! There are even days that we may even have pancakes for dinner! I do make salads and keep plenty of fruits around the house as well. There isn’t costly soda and junk food in our house. Our kids are very healthy, so they must be eating something right.
Did I mention that I drive a 10 year old mini van as well? It’s paid off so there is no car payment for me to pay. Maybe if I had that nice black BMW car, then I wouldn’t spend money on running. I don’t think my husband or Dave Ramsey would approve of me going to the car shop and getting a loan, so I won’t.
It is a joy to be able to get up and run with my mom, daughters, husband, friends, and soon my fourteen year old son! The time and memories are priceless. The Lord has bless us to be able to be healthy and I find it fun to run. I think the spending is justified!
Most importantly as I was thinking about how much I love to run but my true joy is in the Lord Jesus. He comes first and often I am able to spend time with Him as I run. It is because of His strength and love that I am able to step out on to the pavement. I really don’t want running to become an idol. Anything that consumes my time and energy more than focusing on the Lord becomes an idol. A few weeks ago we were studying that in Sunday School. I had to ask myself, Do I have idols? Am I spending too much time running? Often I find myself mapping out my exercise schedule and figuring out how am I going to get my runs in. We really need to make time on our schedule for prayer, church, and spending time with the Lord. If I don’t plan it, it doesn’t happen. I think that is why I like to pray during some of my runs. I have to plan it though and it helps me to focus on Him and needs of others. My husband bought me an ipod a few weeks ago (on Craigslist, remember, we are cheap!) and I love to listen to worship music. So sometimes running for me can be an act of praise as well. There are also days that I just run for fun and that is alright as long as I don’t forget about the Lord. We all have something that we love to do, we just need to be careful that it doesn’t turn into an idol.
For me, I also need to make sure I cut back on my spending! Hopefully this year, I will spend half as much on running. But what I do know, is that whatever we do in life, let’s do it for God’s glory.