It never ceases to amaze me how things can work out. The way different things “just” happened to work out in the last year or so to help me lose weight and get healthier were amazing. It would be easy enough to say it was a pretty cool coincidence that a friend of mine that was into running moved to Richmond a couple years before, but without having Layne to do a lot of those early runs with I would have never kept going. You could also say it’s a coincidence that a girl in a youth group 2 years before had convinced my daughter to run cross country with her. The desire to have this connection with Hailey was a huge motivating factor in me pushing through. Then how about the fact that the same girl (now in college) ran my first and second half marathon with me. Kimberly has been a major part of this journey and I really appreciate the role she has played.
My point to all this is that I firmly believe that we are responsible for our own decision/actions, but if you set back and look at what has transpired in your life there will almost always be people that seem to have shown up at just the right time to make the road a little easier. Or even to nudge you in a different direction. Usually, at the time you don’t realize what is happening. You don’t realize a change is coming or that the person involved is playing a part in it. Later though, it is really cool to look back and see how different pieces of a puzzle have come together in your life to make you who you are.
Run Richmond has been a pretty good motivator to keep me going for the last 6 months or so. I am still amazed that not one Saturday all through the winter did I run completely alone. We ran (or skated) across ice covered bridges at White Hall. One Saturday the snow was deep enough that we didn’t know if we could get back to White Hall. Hailey and I decided to try and there was one set of truck tire tracks back the road. The snow was 5 or 6 inches deep across the road with drifts of a foot or more. We just stayed on the tracks and pulled off at a clear(er) spot. Then we ran each one of us in a tire track out to US 25 and back to the car. Whoever had gone before us was no where in sight, but their actions provided us with a clear dry path to get that run in. I am extremely grateful for the 5 or 6 people that have been showing up to Run Richmond pretty much since the beginning. That is a community of people that came together quickly to support and encourage each other. It has been good for each of us.
The funny thing is that you just never completely change old habits. You will constantly need new motivation to work hard. New people stepping in and getting you going again. Since I finished the marathon my motivation has certainly not been as great. Some of that I think is understandable, but I can’t let that go to far or I will fall back into old habits. I have already gained back over 15 lbs of the weight I had lost. Between “fueling up” for the marathon and vacation I got back into some less than healthy eating habits. With that came less energy from proper fuel so worse runs. Worse runs brought negativity and excuses to my mind and then I was back to wanting to sleep in instead of getting up to run. That is where I have been for the last little bit. Just a bit of a funk I think, not anything horrible, but certainly not where I want to be.
All this brings me back to this realization. Several weeks ago during the training for the marathon I talked to a few people about running the Rugged Red Half Marathon. It’s a trail race in Red River Gorge. At the time it seemed pretty doable and I was trying to sell others on the idea. Now it seems pretty crazy to me. I am not in shape to do it and I wasn’t sure I had the time/energy to train and get there. Yesterday my buddy Nick called me. He was saying that he had been thinking about our discussion about the Rugged Red and he was ready to sign up and had just started running to try to get ready. Two days ago another friend from church asked me if I was doing the Rugged Red because he had heard about it from someone else.
That was two people coming to me about the Rugged Red in two days. One of them even talking about wanting to start doing some training together so he can get ready for it. Depending on your spirituality you can have different explanations for this type of thing. I believe that God steps in and puts people into your life to help you when you struggle. People tell me that seeing my change or reading something on here is motivation for them and I think that is great. When it comes right down to it though, I still need people to help motivate me and they always seem to show up at just the right time. Nick, if you are reading this, I owe you one. The Rugged Red is the next challenge and challenges motivate me more than most things. I am in too!
If you are reading this maybe Run Richmond is supposed to be your motivation. Maybe showing up one Saturday morning seems like a crazy idea because you don’t really see yourself as a runner. I wasn’t a runner before and it just so happens that as I am writing this I looked down and realized that I have my Horse Capital Marathon shirt on. That shirt proves to me that anyone can become a runner. If I can finish 26.2 anyone can. It may take time and it may take some pretty amazing motivators stepping into your life, but I can assure you that nothing is too big for the man upstairs to handle. Show up one Saturday morning and see what happens. Pay attention to the people that have stepped into your life lately. Maybe one of them is there to help you along. Whatever your situation is keep your head up and looking forward and you will find a way. It’s really hard to see where you want to be when you bury your head in your hands and give up.