I started running daily while playing sports in high school.  My football coach insisted that I run two miles a day during my junior and senior years.  Of course, I did feel stronger physically, and my performance on the team improved.  Those improvements made running daily a strong incentive. 

I continued running while in college.  I had increased the distance to 30 minutes per day.  I used time to measure the run because sometimes I was not on a track when I ran and wanted to have a consistent measurement.  We did not have watches that measured distance back then.  By using time as the measurement, I could run anywhere and know when I completed my goal.

College Football Physical

During my first year of playing college football, I had a physical conducted by the team doctor.  He said my pulse was below 60 beats per minute and my blood pressure was 112 over 74.   The doctor said that was excellent.  We discussed my physical activities. He said the running was probably the reason for strong heart measurements. 

I continued running after completing college football.  When I was in the Marine Corps I increased my daily running, and my heart measurements improved even more.  I ran my first marathon while in the Marine Corps. I ran three more over the years following my service in the Marine Corps.

3,000 consecutive days of running 30 minutes or more

Three years ago, during Easter Weekend, my Pastor, Pastor Mu, gave a sermon about what Jesus did on the Saturday after the crucifixion and before the resurrection.  Jesus rested.  I had heard dozens of sermons during the Eastern Weekend over the years, but this was the first time the focus was on Saturday.  I thought, if Jesus needs rest, maybe I do as well.  I did some research on the Internet to see what the medical community had to say.  I was amazed to learn that even the top runners rest at least one day a week and normally two days a week.

The more I studied, the more I learned how important rest is.  I immediately reduced my running to six days a week.  Resting one day a week was significant for me because before this sermon I had run almost 14 years without missing a day.  Even when I traveled, I ran in the halls of the airport.

Within a month after resting one day a week, I began to feel better.  Now for the past three years I have rested one day a week, and I still have good heart measurements.  Both the running and the rest are critical.  I truly see the importance of keeping the Sabbath.

Published by Jim Brandt

Jim Brandt was an all-conference college football player and served as a Marine Corps pilot during the Vietnam War. He also started a software company and served as an executive for the fifth-largest bank in the United States. Brandt won the Democratic party nomination for Congress twice. He is married and has three children.