The rundown

Elizabeth Hersh is Senior Rabbi at Temple Emanuel (TE), and a blogger on the Jewish Light’s website (   Joel Iskiwitch and John DeMott, authors of the  “What can you do?”  sidebar, are congregants at TE.

By Rabbi Elizabeth Hersh

I had a terrible run the other day. My intention was 10 miles. Less than two months ago I enjoyed a fantastic marathon. What was happening?!

Granted, I am not running at the level I was only a couple of months prior, but this was embarrassing. Fortunately, I was with a very understanding friend. She only wanted to run seven or eight so she was more than thrilled to offer to walk at mile nine. She had exceeded her expectation and I had fallen short on mine.

I tried the mantra that one learns more from a poor run than a strong one. It didn’t work. This is certainly not the first time this has happened so why does it bring me so low?

Why is it I expect so much each time I lace up and run? Sometimes it is solely (no pun intended) about the company during the run. Often it is to get some exercise or clear my head. There are times I run because it would be only too easy not to.


Even though I don’t spend much time in nursing homes now, I still reminisce about the hundreds of people I visited. Perhaps I run because I can. I am grateful that despite the quality of the experience, I am still moving. Sometimes we just have to appreciate ourselves – our bodies and minds – and go. Move forward with a grateful AMEN!