Last weekend, while some people I know were laying in a hospital bed, I was running half marathons. I got such shiney beautiful medals:
Shiney medals are cool but that is not my point.
This morning, as I climbed on the elliptical, I realized: I am engaged in a battle of life or death. Long ago, I quit drinking because I didn't want to be like my mother, a non-sober alcoholic. I didn't want to have cancer 3 times like her either. I didn't want books from the Hemlock Society in my library. If you haven't heard, the Hemlock books discuss how to commit suicide.
From the view on my elliptical this morning, I now realize that my fitness routines are life and death. In particular, when someone at work questions the time spent on health versus career, I'm certain that healthy life is more important to me. Andsince my more successful colleagues are on medication, over weight or in a hospital bed, I no longer have qualms about my commitment. Even the sisters in the convent who didn't like my running fit into the unhealthy category.
I also realized something more about why I walked away from Catholicism. When Pope Benedict was elected, that day, I knew I was done. While I had been struggling with various issues of conscience related to my support of that institution, that day, the balance tipped. Today, I realized that I thought Cardinal Ratzinger (elected Pope Benedict), was evil incarnate. I viewed him as the fixer behind the scenes who was covering up all the church's scandals. A man with screwed up priorities. So I went down to a major river and threw my rosary into the flow. Bye bye religion.
Pope Francis seems like goodness personified; but I cannot go back to a church which in general practices theological discrepancies. And I will never be a follower. My whole ethos is individualism.