Thursday, February 9, 2017

Keeping Pace

My feet pounded the same rhythm as hers did while the exhilarating background of 80's music pumped through my earbuds. There was some kind of power in that matching of strides, some kind of challenge that was more effective than any goal I could have set. Matched strides, eyes forward, strangers next to each other, moving in the same directionless direction.

Before I knew it, two miles down. Sweat pouring down my smiling face, breaths coming fast and deep. A body that had been benched for over a month due to injury and illness suddenly full of energy, moving fast, free of pain. Movement has always been a key part of how I do life. It's absence had caused no small amount of emotional chaos.

Minutes after finishing our run, we smile at each other, gulping water.

"I was about to stop running when you jumped on," she said, "and then suddenly there was something really helpful in your pace that kept me going."

"You really pushed me and I appreciate it. I haven't been able to run in a long time. I would have stopped sooner if you weren't still going." I replied. We shared brief stories of why we had been gone from the Y and why we were back. And thanked each other for the shared challenge of our morning run.

No competition, no needing to prove ourselves. Just 20 minutes in a day that reminded us both of why we need those pace-keepers in our lives. People with similar goals, moving in the same direction, helping us push past our own limits. In running, in parenting, in faith, in marriage, in all of life.

May we treasure our pace-keepers, both the temporary gifts and those who are more permanent fixtures in our lives, and keep on keeping on.

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