Monday, November 8, 2010

A Life Marathon -- My Running Partner

After consistent questioning and persuasions, I made the decision to run the MCM.  Training for this race was different for me.  I had been running for some years now- two miles here, four miles there.  Yet, I never really pushed myself to train.  Training takes consistency, determination and hard work.  From those three words, consistency was my challenge. I had to train...often.  Well...

Steve was my running partner.  We trained together.  We ran together.  And after a while, we drew closer as friends...together.  I began to understand his running pace and he understood mine.  As we trained, running became more than just running.  It became more of a friendship.  I began to know more about him, his wife and family, and his interests.  He got a chance to know a bit more of my victories and challenges, my strengths and shortcomings.  But we ran together -- 5 miles, 8 miles, 10 and then 12.  We ran in the streets, on golf courses, along public and private routes.  We often talked when we ran, and sometimes we barely spoke.  Yet, we ran together. 

Finally, the culmination of our training -- 26.2 miles of pavement.  We rode the Metro in together, started the race together, and yes, FINISHED together.  THere was a time during the race where he had some sever leg pains.  He told me to go ahead and meet him at the finish line.  There was no way I could do that.  WE were doing this together.  The only thing that we did not do together...was cross the finish line because somehow he got an extra dose of wind and ran ahead of me as I was filming the finish on my iPhone.  No fair!  Whatever happened to leaving no man behind...?

I have grown to understand as a man, a husband, and especially as a dad that I need friends.  I need true friendships in my life to keep me accountable.  I promise you -- if I were not training with Steve, I NEVER would have run this race.  I am completely sure of this.  I would not have been motivated, or determined. 
Most people, especially men, do not appreciate accountability.  It's being able to answer someone truthfully about who you are and what you struggle with.  Its a deeper comraderie, one that I used to feel very uncomfortable with.  I still do at times, but I know it is the best thing for me.  How about you?  And Steve, thanks for the runs -- I am a better man because of you and them.

"As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another." -- Proverbs 27:17.

What are your friendships like? Do you have anyone that you can pour out your heart and thoughts to and know tht they will love and respect you just as much?  If not, I challenge you to think of some people that you would feel comfortable with sharing your thoughts and mind with.  I'd love to hear about them and what your relationship is like.  I'm NOS...