Running is Not a Sport

At the GoGo Running All-Area High School Banquet, Dr. Wm. Richard Kremer spoke. We thought it was so powerful that it deserved a blog post. We want everyone to get a chance to read it. This is one in a series of seven. Be ready to be inspired by his words:

I stand before you tonight feeling a great sense of privilege and some small envy. I feel privileged to address a collection of young runners, many of you at the very beginning of your running careers. I feel a twinge of envy because I can never stand again where you stand, with healthy joints, trim bodies, and the possibility of improving your time every day, able to embrace the challenge of getting a little faster and stronger with each passing week. I once stood where you stand and know from the vantage point of hindsight what a privileged position you enjoy. I can never stand in your place again;
however, from the vantage point of a long running pilgrimage I can share with you briefly seven truths that I’ve gleaned under the heading, “Running Is . . .”

First, you need to know, Running is not a sport; Running is a Lifestyle. Running encompasses every aspect of your being — what you eat, what you drink, how much you sleep, how you arrange your life, how you spend your time. Running is a lifestyle that demands you embrace a disciplined approach to everything you do, because everything you do affects your effectiveness as a runner. Everything you do shows up with some immediacy on the track or during a road race – -and no other sport is quite like running in this regard.

Running is a lifestyle that ceaselessly tests your commitment, your discipline, and ultimately your character. Many years ago a famous running shoe company had an advertisement in a track magazine that showed a runner snugly ensconced in his bed on a dark morning. His 5:15 am alarm was flashing. But he could tell from the frost on his windows that the weather outside was frigid. His running clothes and new running shoes were on a stand a few feet away from him, and the caption read, “Our track shoes can’t help you take the hardest step.”

It’s that hardest step, that step out of the warmth of that bed and into those shoes and out of those warm doors into the frigid darkness that tests how committed you are to what you do. The fact you met the challenge yesterday or the day before that, does not determine how you will meet the challenge today. Yet it is rising to the call of such challenges that make running a measure of the whole of your being, a lifestyle that daily fathoms your character. I say again, Running is not a sport, it is a lifestyle.

If you enjoyed this insight into running, there are six more to come. We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments too.

Running is…

Dr. Wm. Richard Kremer, is currently the pastor of Garden Lakes Baptist Church in Rome. Dr. Kremer has spent most of a lifetime involved in track and field as a participant and coach. He would characterize himself presently as a “very slow recreational runner.”

Dr. Kremer was the indoor 440 champion of the state of Alabama in 1973 and was part of the Jefferson Davis High (Montgomery, Ala.) team that finished that year undefeated. He received a full track scholarship to the University of Georgia, where he competed in a variety of cross country and track events.

He placed fourth in the SEC Championships of 1974 and 1975 in the 600 yard dash, setting a school record of 1:11.5 that stood for many years. A summa cum laude graduate, Dr. Kremer was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa and nominated for the Rhodes Scholarship.

Upon graduation with a double major in English and History, Dr. Kremer attended the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky, where he earned a Master’s of Divinity and Ph.D. in Systematic Theology. While in Louisville, Dr. Kremer ran for the Mason Dixon Athletic Club, continuing to win local and regional events while working on his Master’s. While running for the Mason Dixon AC, Dr. Kremer was part of a formidable distance medley relay team that included British Olympian Nick Rose.


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  1. Running is a Gift to be Enjoyed - GoGo Running — December 17, 2011 @ 6:39 pm

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  4. Running is a Discipline - GoGo Running — December 18, 2011 @ 3:58 pm

  5. Running is a Mystery to be Enjoyed - GoGo Running — December 19, 2011 @ 7:05 pm