I normally run alone. I like to be alone with my thoughts. I like the time to pray. The time to order my day. The time to watch the Earth come alive. That is a good thing since almost none of my friends are runners.
But at camp there are lots of runners so I have many opportunities to run with family. Most of the time I try to still run on my own...strange and selfish I know. However, something in me told me to run with Drew's cousin yesterday. She is way faster than me, but I decided to do it anyway. I did not regret my decision for one single step.
She and I know and love one another, but we don't really know each other. Our knowledge is pretty much limited to surface details about our respective lives. That all changed yesterday. I know running is more than just running when you run with a friend. I read that all the time and I do believe that. I just don't give myself many chances to experience the power of running friendships.
No one is at there best all the time when running. You look and probably smell bad. Frustrations come out when the running is hard. Will power shows through when the running is hard. Will you give for me and will I give for you? How deep is your determination and how big is your heart? It is all there. I truly believe you can learn almost all there is to know about someone and who they really are during a long run.
That happened yesterday for me and I believe I am a better person because of it. I was challenged in my faith because of some of our discussions. I was encouraged by her strength. I was so thankful for her honesty and vulnerability. She shared so much over the course of running 7 miles. I was honestly a little over whelmed. I don't let many people "in" over the course of 7 years and she did it in one hour.
It was such a challenge to me. Protect my self less so I can learn more, feel more, experience more. Share more honestly and openly because the right people will love you for it...not judge you. Be willing to cross my comfort lines.
I don't think I would have felt so inspired by reading a book about what she shared. It was her words shared through sweat and laboring that really impacted me. It convicted me to be more open to myself and to let others be more open to me.
Running is powerful. It is not just exercise for the body. It is exercise for the heart and soul as well. I know this to be true!