Syracuse Online


Dr. J. on Running

Christmas Running

Sweat, Shopping and Joy

Published December 25, 2000 in The Post-Standard.

By Dr Kamal Jabbour, Contributing Writer

Then Myrnie asked, speak to us Master of Christmas. And he said: "Christmas is a celebration of the birth of the Savior of the world, just as running celebrates the salvation of our bodies from stagnation. For every time we run, we are freed from the slavery of laziness and the chains of idleness.

"Christmas is joy. As every child awaits this joyful moment of the year, so does every runner await the chosen time to run, to rejoice in the freedom of the body and the longing of the soul, so that every runner shall sing joyful praise.

"Christmas is a season of giving. There is no gift a runner can give family and self like the precious gift of health and sanity. For it is in a sane body that a sane mind shall prosper. Thus, we lift our sweat as a gift to Him who created us for motion.

"Christmas is a time for reflection and for prayer. What better time to reflect than in the loneliness of a long run, and what better place to pray than in the wilderness of the trails. For a prayer of thanksgiving, for Christmas and for running, pleases our Lord.

"Christmas is faith in forgiveness and in healing, of our earthly actions and omissions. So does running give faith that fitness shall forgive sins against the body, and a promise that health will crown those who shall seek her.

"Christmas is family, the feast of a family that started in a manger, and the feast of all who celebrate family as the center of their lives. As they travel home from east and west, what greater joy than a morning run through Christmas snow, for I tell you, a family that runs together stays together.

"Christmas is a miracle, the birth of God among us. It is that God who gave us the miracle of creating the human body, perfect for running. For no engineer will ever build a better runner than the miracle of God's creation, the miracle that men and women of every age and creed can enjoy running.

"Christmas is hope that the forgotten and the forsaken will someday enjoy the bounty of life. So does running bring hope that material stresses of modern life will give way to the smaller pleasures of a crisp run and a hot shower, the hope that that hour of morning solace will carry through the trials of the day.

"Christmas is love, a love so great it defies mortal logic. Such is running, a love of freedom, love of motion, love of re-creation, love of peace, love of solitude, love of family, love of sharing.

"We celebrate Christmas but once a year. Let us celebrate the Christmas of running every day of our lives."

And he ran into the city for some last minute shopping.

Kamal Jabbour runs and writes on the hills of Pompey, New York. His RUNNING Column appears in The Post-Standard on Mondays. Dr.J. created, webcasting live Every Lap of Every Race. He receives email at

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