This came this morning when I got to do a morning run together with God. I used to love them, but the joy became commonplace until my schedule and weather made it so I couldn't anymore. So this morning, I remembered the joy of my old morning runs.
I started thinking about all those who got me to where I am physically. Those that got me into working out, health, and running distance on trails. Of course I would be the start when I decided to join a gym in the first place. Jeremy would be the second.
I would have to thank him for enjoying the act of torturing me. I remember getting so mad at him for almost everything. Making me run for just 10 minutes on a treadmill...he would have to reach over and turn up my machine because I would refuse, and he would smile and laugh. Or when he would make me do weights and then make fun of me the entire time, making statements about how I made ugly faces while I worked out.
But he would push me, and had more faith in what I could do than I did, which might be why now I have such a problem always wanting to challenge myself with more. He showed me I could do anything.
He also was the start of my healthy diet-at a time when I ate horribly and he ate crazy healthy. In fact he had a plug in his old Lexus 'Lexy' so he could blend shakes right after working out. I remember he built muscle so fast it would make me mad, and he would always tell me "if you would eat better maybe you would"...
...not enough motivation at the time...
I would just tell him to shut-up and smile back, but it planted seeds in this Georgia red clay, and they actually sprouted.
Then came the marine, Jake. A close friend of mine who said that when he got back from his mission he wanted to run with me on the silver comet trail, not knowing the fullness of how much I really didn't like running...how much I loathed it. I tried to get started before he arrived for a head start, but it didn't work too well.
But running with him taught me to pace myself, how to breathe, staying hydrated, and gaining distance. Reaching that point were you find your what I call 'happy pace' and just float there. He knew I could run farther, faster, and harder than I did. He is the reason I am a long distance endurance-style runner and the best thing he taught me was to let go and enjoy the run. He brought many deep (and silly) run conversations and is probably was the only person who I could ever find who was willing to run with me-besides God.
Looking back at myself before Jake, before Jeremy (aka J-Dawg), amazes me. Running today thinking at where I came from, how far I've traveled in the world of health-it all really started with them. Those that believed in me before I even did; that saw my potential when nobody else could. It reminds me of my father when he was able to garden. He could see our horrible hilly, red clay dirt back yard and saw the potential for an amazing garden. Early in the mornings I remember him waking up before the sun, lining his truck bed with tarp; he would then go to a horse farm and shovel horse manure all Saturday. Bringing it back home, he would mix it in the clay, and drive back to the farm. Over and over again until it was too dark. He knew what to plant when, and took great care all year long at whatever he was growing. Pulling weeds, pruning, and at the end harvesting and enjoying the fruit (or vegetable) of his labor.
Isn't this what God does in each of our lives? He brings those in our lives who can see the vision and are willing to work the field, willing to shovel manure.
"Therefore said he unto them, The harvest truly is great, but the labourers are few: pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he would send forth labourers into his harvest" Luke 10:2 KJV
So thank you to J-Dawg, thank you to Jake. For being willing to shovel my manure and seeing my potential. Seeing that I'm worth it. Without you, I don't know where I would be, if alive what kind of life it would be. I would never have gotten the joy of having runs with the Lord and many-a-blog would not have written.
You inspired me, believed in me, saw my worth.