For Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori running is a form of body prayer and a time of reflection according to an interview in this month’s issue of Runner’s World. From the interview:
Why did you start running?
I’d been a competitive swimmer, played water polo in college, and was active. In the fall of 1978 I met the man [Richard Schori] I eventually married and he was an avid runner, and he got me started. I started running probably in November of ’78 and ran a marathon in February of ’79 [in Seaside, Oregon, with a time of 3:54:55].
That must have been pretty tough.
It was an adventure.
How do you feel running helps with your work? Do you like to use the time to brainstorm or solve issues?
Absolutely. It’s focusing for me. In my tradition we might talk about it as body prayer. It’s a meditative experience at its best. It’s a sort of emptying of the mind. That’s probably why I prefer running in the wilds rather than in the middle of the city.
Now that you’ve been elected presiding bishop, do you think your weekly runs will become more necessary or more fulfilling?
Well, it’s an essential part of my health. I don’t function as well in any part of my life if I’m not exercising regularly, and running is probably the easiest and most enjoyable way I’ve found to do that.
Do you have a favorite Bible passage that inspires you to get out and run?
There’s a wonderful passage in the Psalms that says, “Beautiful are the feet of one who brings good news.”
Read the interview here.