Sprinting sucks. Literally. It sucks the air right out of you.
You need oxygen. Especially when you’re running. Your legs and lungs demand it. Your guts and bowels back up the demands with threats. But there’s just not enough oxygen to be had. Sprinting sucks so hard.
But sprinting is good for you. It covers a lot of ground in a short amount of time. It builds greater strength, burns more calories and fat, trains the body to process oxygen more effectively, and ultimately offers higher efficiency in training.
So, I build sprints into my training regimen, when I’m training for a race: intervals… sprints… strides… hill repeats… fartlek (“speed play”)… Whatever variation or name, these high-intensity sprinting strategies work. But they make me work. And they feel like work, not play.
Collegiate ministry can be a lot like sprinting.
Welcome Week is an extra-intense part of the experience, but I think it’s fair to say that we undertake a Six-Week Sprint every year: from Freshmen Move-In Day to our Fall Retreat in the last weekend of September. This Six-Week Sprint helps us cover a lot of ground, and it quickly establishes an effective rhythm for the rest of the school year… but it doesn’t necessarily feel great in the midst of it.
I’m catching my breath now, over Kent State University’s Fall Break (which is a welcome adjustment to the academic calendar this year!). I’m excited to settle into more sustainable rhythms and routines for the rest of the school year, once all the students return.
But I’m also glad we also ran hard to start things off. And I’m praying that God will use our Six-Week Sprint to lay a solid foundation for the rest of the year.