We are locked in again. It is just for the weekend at this point, and it isn’t fun, but I understand the reasons. India is setting new records for the number of people to be infected with Covid-19. So, we are back to running at home. Luckily, my son enthusiastically announced a challenge from their school to climb the height of Everest in 24 days.

Actually, they cheat a bit because they don’t start at sea level. I am not sure how they got to the total, but they say we should climb 1996 floors altogether. That gives you around 84 floors a day. We decided we will go for about 100 so that we can rest some days in between.

The tallest building in India is the “World One” in Mumbai with 76 floors. In Chandigarh, it is the Sushma Infinium with 16 storeys. It would have been nice to just climb up once and then take the elevator down… But, since that is not possible, we will run the two stories of our rented house up and down 50 times. There are 34 steps, and you have to cross the room (about 6 meters) between the two staircases.

Yesterday we had a trial run. My son stopped after 15 minutes and 20 times. It took me just over 30 minutes to do 50 times. My heartbeat edged up to 160. It is funny that the biggest challenge is to keep count!

Why do we love a challenge even if there is pain involved? Maybe we want to prove something to ourselves or prove something to the world? It is that, but more. For me, it is just a way to make my inside exercise program more purposeful and doable. It is a chance to spend time with my son and encourage him to complete what he starts.

In almost every aspect of life, one has to have the endurance to be successful. It is also like that in our spiritual life.

One of my favourite passages of scripture as a runner is Hebrews 12:1-3, here quoted from the Message:

Do you see what this means—all these pioneers who blazed the way, all these veterans cheering us on? It means we’d better get on with it. Strip down, start running—and never quit! No extra spiritual fat, no parasitic sins. Keep your eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished this race we’re in. Study how he did it. Because he never lost sight of where he was headed—that exhilarating finish in and with God—he could put up with anything along the way: Cross, shame, whatever. And now he’s there, in the place of honor, right alongside God. When you find yourselves flagging in your faith, go over that story again, item by item, that long litany of hostility he plowed through. That will shoot adrenaline into your souls!

Keep running