Some people I know think there is a “religion” gene. There thinking goes something like this; you either have it or you don’t. They assume that I, as a rabbi, was born this way. Others who are not into it, just don’t have it in them. If only it was that easy.
For two years, more or less without interruption, I was on a runner’s high. I loved running and everything about it. The first year was the dating period. Everything was new and exciting. Each new distance run, each race completed felt amazing having never been there before. The second year, much of which was spent in California, was the honeymoon. New places to see, as well as my first marathon (second and third as well) were part of this experience.
I recently started my third year of running. Back in the northeast, running in the cold felt like a challenge but one that grew old fast. Soon, I was running, if I could use that term to describe staying in place, almost exclusively on the treadmill. Running has become a chore, something else to complete. Of course, I keep on going.
Therein lies the answer to the religion gene. I don’t always feel like praying. There are more moments than I wish to acknowledge where my religious fervor is lacking. What do I do? I go out there and keep on going. Nothing exciting or romantic about that. Still, I am convinced that, with time as well as perseverance, the excitement will return.