Surprising even myself, I’ve been jogging since May. At the end of that month, I flew to Montenegro with a team from Blacksburg to explore ways to work with to help bless southern Europe through purposeful, missional travel and relational connections. When I found out our team would be engaged in some demanding physical activity, I began jogging about three weeks out.

While we were there, we mountain-biked 18 miles one day, did some SUP (stand-up paddleboarding) and hiked. It was beautiful, and I’m looking forward to mobilizing more folks to go experience that region of the world through Here’s a video (the arms you see are mine!) of our experience mountain-biking Dormitory (read more here):

When I returned from the trip, I felt revived and refreshed from both the experience and the activity. Two days back in Virginia, I went jogging again. Not because I was preparing to go anywhere, but.. just because. Now almost six months after I began, I’m still jogging about every other day. It’s… weird for me.

Don’t get me wrong. I enjoy activity. I’ve just always invested my exertion in team sports. I love playing the occasional game of pick-up basketball. Ultimate frisbee is also a favorite. Flag football (think my days of tackle are over). Even raquetball. I loved intramurals in college, and I’ll do just about anything.

I’ve also jogged occasionally over the years just to knock the fat off. Usually a month or so here and there to jumpstart the loss of inches. I’ve never jogged this consistently.

Someone asked me if I was enjoying it recently. My answer was, “Not particularly.” I enjoy the results and the way it makes me feel, but my feet pounding the sidewalk? Not so much. Someone else asked if I’d had a “runner’s high.” Since I avoid cannabis due to my profession, my answer was also negative. But I truly don’t think I have… I don’t think I run distances far enough to experience that (usually 2-4 miles).

Here’s a collection of pics of things I’ve seen on some of my runs since May:


Inevitably, I’m listening to podcasts or music when I run. Recently I had shifted from my stale selection (Barry Manilow, Journey, country and Christian) to some of Adelyn’s music on our shared iTunes account. I stumbled across Forgot to Laugh by Bridgit Mendler and I didn’t. I was laughing at it as a I jogged. It has some of the best lines ever: “If you drive away, hope you get a flat tire, get stranded..” and “I’ve got my own life and you’re just a punchline.” Ah, the catchy quality of pop songs by jilted adolescents.

At any rate, I plan to continue as long as I can stand the cold weather here in Blacksburg. At this point, it’s a refreshing habit, especially with the cool weather and the fall foliage.

More posts from the Montenegro experience:

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Jeff Noble

Jeff is the pastor of Northstar Church in Blacksburg, Virginia. He grew up in Arkansas, loves fantasy football and is an Apple fan boy. Follow him on Twitter or Instagram @journeyguy.
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