Tuesday, June 12, 2012

It All Comes Together

My friend Marcus came out for a morning track workout with the crew that has been working out at the Dunbar track with workouts that I organize.  He commented at the end that he would definitely be back, particularly because the first week of the Charm City Run training program was always a two mile time trial, and he didn't think he would learn anything he didn't already know by participating in that next week.  It was interesting to me that he made that comment as the two mile time trial is what started me on a path toward being the organizer of this crew.  It was yet another reminder of how things just tend to come together in my life and how God creates opportunities that we can take or ignore and how his plan is for something wonderful if we just follow.

So, when I tell stories about history of my running, sometimes I begin in high school.  But, I recognize that those are mostly Glory Days kind of stories (thinking of the old song by Bruce Springstein) at this point.  And, while they are interesting to reflect on they are rarely relevant.  I separately myself from them for the same reason that I decided not to get a tattoo of the old symbol on my high school varsity letter pins--there is so much of life since then and so much more that is relevant to me.

Sometimes when I tell running stories, I start back on January 1, 2006.  When I decided to return to regular exercise.  However, I don't worry about a return to exercise any more.  In fact, the tattoo I am getting will feature the patron saint of athletes.  So, I don't go back to that point as often any more.

I also have gone back to July 2010 on some occasions.  That is when my running took a social turn and I started running for a charity rather than just for myself.   It was after a parent at my kids school was taken too early by cancer that running became not just a physical thing but a social thing and an expressive thing in my life.  And sometimes I got back to March 2012 when I first ran with Back on My Feet.  At that point, I found an organization that I could make a constant part of my running.  Back on My Feet also has an interesting relation to the tattoo.  The artist found a picture of the Baltimore city skyline (looking head on at City Hall and the buildings in the background in the 1930's.  That part of the tattoo is actually similar to the buildings in the picture at right, except for the one brick building with the very narrow top.  That is a more recent building.

Today, though, the story goes back to September 13, 2011.  On that day, the Charm City Run training group was scheduled to do a two mile time trial that I could not attend, but I really wanted to know where I was.  So, I asked two students/friends to come out and run with me.  They did and I ran the fastest two miles I'd run in a very long time.  Immediately after the Baltimore marathon, we continued running together and I continued to run with at least one of them through most of the winter.  Then, very recently the group expanded and now we have as many as 14 people on our list an that list is about to grow.  I never would have thought that one random ask to help pace me would lead to me being the organizer of a group that runs together once a week and includes people I know from work, from just running, and from Back on My Feet, all together to be supportive of one another and to make ourselves better, stronger runners.

God is great.  His gifts are amazing.  And I must never forget that.  

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