“I was reading about the cardiovascular benefits of aerobic training, running, biking or swimming, and so I thought, ‘If I want to live past 55 I better take up something,’ so I took up running,” he said.
All told, since that day, Bishop Paprocki has run 24 marathons and counting. He’s also raised over half a million dollars for charity in the process.
Paprocki recently wrote a book called “Running for a higher purpose: 8 Steps to Spiritual and Physical Fitness,” (Ave Maria Press) which released March 26.
In it, he offers expert advice on running from a practical standpoint, while interweaving lessons on how to grow in one’s spiritual life.
“One of the main premises of the book is the connection between body and soul. Unlike the ancient Greek philosophers who kind of saw the body as something that was discarded at death and you wouldn't need it anymore...We believe in the resurrection of the body, that our bodies will be raised up when our Lord comes again at the second coming, so we are to treat our bodies with respect,” Paprocki said.
“The way I wrote this book was to keep that connection, so it's not like one chapter is about the spiritual life and the other chapter is about training to run. They're interwoven because, I think, most runners will tell you, especially marathon runners, that you need some deep spiritual resources in order to do a marathon.”
The practical steps that Paprocki lays out in the book begin with recommending an honest assessment of one’s physical fitness and health.