Running is all about readiness. Whether you're just getting out for a morning run or running a race, people ask you "Are you ready?" A few days before you run, you predispose yourself to get out there and carry out your planned run. Sometimes you write it down; sometimes you tell a friend; others post it online; and even others make an announcement to a group of people about it. On the night before you run, you make a mental note of what time you will run; others tell their significant other about details of their run. Ultimately, just before a run, you put on your running gear, take a deep breath, and take that first step to take off running. Now for most runners, it takes more planning and preparation to run, specially when they sign to run a race. Running, as simple as it is, takes a state of preparation before it is acted upon.
"Are you ready?" is also an age-old question about life you and I and many people before us have one time or another were asked to answer. I remember a story which was attributed to St. Robert Bellarmine, a Catholic cardinal in the 16th century who wrote a treatise entitled "The Art of Dying Well" wherein he exhorted his people the importance of readiness "for at what hour you think not, the Son of Man will come." The story goes that St. Bellarmine was playing cards with three of his friends when one of them asked a question, "What will you do when you learn today that tomorrow you will die?" One of them said, "I will go and tell my family how much I love them." The second one said, "I will give away all my precious belongings to the needy." The third one said, "I will see a priest and confess all my sins." Then the three of them turned to St. Bellarmine and asked, "You, Bellarmine, what will you do when you learn today that you will die?" Bellarmine said, "I will continue playing cards." Bellarmine wanted to say that he was always ready and that he does not need to wait for the last minute to do live life to the fullest.
As you prepare for a run, contemplate on how you can live your life so are always ready.