I went to bed early last night. Not because I was tired, but because I was full of fear. Then I tossed and turned starting about four till I woke up. I always have trouble sleeping whenever I'm upset or worried about something. This morning I had good reason for lost sleep - I was going running.
I graduated from college over three years ago, and during my days at OC I was a fairly successful athlete and scholar. My philosophy on life had been that you can be great at anything if you put your all into it, and if you make the necessary sacrifices. Then I graduated. I decided it was time for a paradigm shift and that my new objective was going to be fun. I threw discipline to the wind and started having a good time, forgetting what it mean to regularly train or study on a consistent basis.
Now three years later I am about twenty-five pounds heavier, a whole lot slower, and probably much duller then I was back in my OC days. But this morning the spark and drive from college was reignited.
You see I went running with a guy who was a freshman when I was a senior, and also with one of the best runners the state of Oklahoma has ever known. I knew what I had become and what I had been, thus the fear existed of how these two guys would demolish me out on the road. For this reason alone I have mainly ran by myself for three years, telling myself that it was ok to be slow. It is a natural result of age after all, right? Out on the road though there is nowhere to hide - you either have it or you don't. And this morning I certainly didn't.
But I hung on for dear life with my friend Wade and ran the fastest ten miler I have ran in years. Afterwards I dry-heaved like the good ole days, over and over again. However, I realized something in that whole experience and that was I do not like mediocraty. I enjoy life by doing things well, and sometimes that means having discipline and working hard. There was a real thrill in having worked myself to the breaking point this morning, and my self-esteem skyrocketed.
And a traditiona was born! We decided that we would start getting together every Saturday morning, when most people are still asleep in their beds, and run a long run together. What a strange way for God to answer prayers though! Just last night I was frustrated with God in that I felt lost and alone, with no one who I really connect with. And while I don't know these guys well yet, I do know that if we do continue to get together and run we will form a very deep bond. There is just something in sweat, eccentricy, and a dirt road that brings people together. Or at least us crazy runners!