I got new running shoes yesterday. New running shoes are one of those silly, simple things that makes my heart incredibly happy. I love lacing up a new pair of shoes and heading out for a run. I started running about three and a half years ago. I never thought I would enjoy it as much as I do, but it has become one of my greatest sources of stress relief. It is processing time for me. If I am unable to run for a few days (or a few weeks), I notice a marked difference in my attitude and my overall well-being. I love being able to run outside and breathe in fresh air, but here I settle for a treadmill in front of a window with the stale smell of sweaty bodies. And, the truth is that running 3.5 miles on a treadmill in the morning changes everything for me because I get to spend those thirty minutes with Jesus, talking with Him, worshipping Him.
Anyway, my running shoes were pretty well thrashed after running a half marathon in December, but good quality shoes are pretty sparse here. And, if you can find them, they are at least twice as much as what I would pay in the States. So, when I found out that a friend from America would be coming to Cambodia in February, my first question to her was whether or not she would bring me new shoes. Even before I got her confirmation, I started looking online for a good deal and a good pair. The problem with shoes is that it is really hard to know if you will like them or if they will fit well without being able to try them on, and this was going to be a commitment...no exchanges or refunds. So, I looked. I read comments. I prayed they would fit. And, I ordered.Yesterday, I pulled them out of their box, discarded the tissue paper, and slipped them on. Awesome.
But, I have a belief about running shoes. I don't believe that they are really broken in until there is blood on them. No pain, no gain. So, this morning I headed to the gym, laced up my shoes, and ran. As you may notice in the above picture, my shoes are bloody. That is not a shadow on the heel of my right shoe. It is blood. It soaked completely through my shoe. I knew after 5 minutes there was a blister. I didn't care. I ran anyway. I didn't even look. I pushed through, and I loved every minute of it. Despite what you may think based on this, these are good shoes, and they do fit well. This is normal. I am used to it. And, I will put a band-aid over the blister and run in them again tomorrow. Trust me, a little bloodstain never hurt anyone.
In fact, a bloodstain saved my life. A bloodstain changed my life. A bloodstain helps me overcome every single day.
"And they overcame (conquered) him by the means of the blood of the Lamb and by the utterance of their testimony, for they did not love and cling to life even when faced with death [holding their lives cheap till they had to die for their witnessing]." ~ Revelation 12:11