“You’ve created a monster.” That’s what one of my colleagues told my marathon running friend, Richard, the other day.
Richard and I meet weekly, but not to talk running. But I usually know when he’s heading to Boston or another marathon site. I used to laugh when he talked about running ten miles before we meet on Mondays.
Andrew is our son of twenty-eight years. A few years ago he started running. He’d run ten miles in a gym or in the streets of Chicago.
Andrew and Richard and Robbie never told me I ought to run. They just told me about their running as part of their lives. I watched them develop. I watched them accomplish pretty cool things.
Then I started running.
- After I started, they never said, “Someday you should be as fast as me.” They celebrated my pace.
- I felt free to share my gradual progress, knowing that they would cheer, not scold.
- When I had an off day, they told me that resting was important.
- When I wanted to push, they all told me that gradual was better, that slow runs were as helpful as sprints, that 3-4 days may be better than every day.
- When I was interested in short term speed, they encouraged long-term habits.
- They all offered advice only when I asked.
- I think that they all know that my preferred learning style is to read, as much as I can, wherever I can. But then I put the books away and ask them how it really works.
I’m learning a lot about helping people learn to follow Jesus from watching my friends make a running disciple.
(Photo credit: Megin Hatch)