Tag Archives: running

What Good Will It Do?

I enjoy running. I might be the “world’s okayist runner” according to Anna, but I do it still. She gave me this nickname when I ran a couple of races with my mom and good friend, David Gamble. They both placed first in their age groups. Not me. I placed second in one race and didn’t even place in the other. “Congratulations, Mom. You’re the World’s Okayist Runner,” she told me. There are weeks I get out there almost every day. There are weeks I get out once or twice. And, there are weeks I don’t get out there at all. Some of those days, I don’t run, because I think if I can’t devote at least 45 minutes to it, it’s not worth it.

This morning, I had exactly 25 minutes to run, so I gave it what I had instead of justifying not doing it. As I was running, I began to think of how many things in life we justify not doing, because what does a little bit matter? What good will it do? It’s kind of like that diet we blow and justify eating the cookie, because, what does it matter now?

Or deeper life stuff….What good is reframing my attitude about this when I’ve allowed myself to spiral into this negative thinking about all of that?

What good is refraining from buying this when I’m already piled up in debt?

What good is doing something special for my spouse, when he or she hasn’t said or done anything special for me in months?

What good is that little bit going to do?

What will that little bit of good change?

Everything. It changes EVERYTHING. I really want to shout this. IT CHANGES EVERYTHING!

I cannot tell you the times I have done what seemed to be “a little” or seemed to not be worth my time only to reap huge dividends from it. From moments like in this post where I made a decision to make things right in that moment instead of saying, “I really blew it already. What’s the point?” To moments when I’ve laid next to my husband and reached for his hand when I’ve been frustrated with feelings of “we aren’t taking enough time for each other.” In those moments, I could play the blame game. Or, I can take his hand and make an investment into our marriage instead of making a withdrawal with a feeling that may or may not be a real truth….

And, that’s the kicker: a feeling that may or may NOT be truth. This brings me back, once again, to one of the greatest life changing principles ever: Change the way you look at things, and the things you look at will change.

Stop saying your little isn’t worth it. Stop buying into a thought of your spouse not meeting your needs that may not even be true. Stop believing that your twenty minutes of exercise will not reap any benefits or skipping that purchase will make a dent. Stop saying, “when it rains, it pours,” and say and do something that yells, “But, let me show you all the amazing things God HAS done for me!”

Things happen. Life happens. Things will get in the way of a morning run. Life will get in the way of a lot of things that we have little to no control over. But, there are things we DO have control over. How we respond to those things and how we LOOK at those things.

Your little not only does a whole lot of good. Your little can change EVERYTHING. Your little can set a marriage on a course for an unbelievable connection and goodness. Your little can teach your children about forgiveness and mercy. Your little can lead to another little and another little where you live a life free of debt. Your little can turn a seemingly crappy day into a moment of pure gratitude for what isn’t crappy. And, there is SO MUCH of the not crappy.

There is so much good. Do the little. It will give you a lot more of the good.

I may be the world’s okayist runner in races. But, I sure want to win in the race that really counts.

So I run with purpose in every step…. 1 Corinthians 9:26

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Filed under gratitude, life, Marriage, Uncategorized

Across the Atlantic – Part Three


“I had just buried my whole family and woke up the next day and thought, ‘What do I do now?’”   To say Andrew was lonely is an understatement.  The morning after the funeral, his friends had to leave and return back to their own lives and families.  Even worse, he worried about his impending future. 

Stacey’s mom and dad helped Andrew move his family’s belongings to his garage.  He explains “I didn’t want throw anything way, but I also could not see things that reminded me of them.  The only things I let remain were Stacey’s clothes in the wardrobe.” 

He chose to not move out of the house fearing he may regret it down the road.  Instead, he had the house redecorated with the hopes of making it more bearable to live in for an extended period.

Andrew sought counseling and support from the non-profit organization, Cruse Bereavement Care.  Cruse provides emotional care and support free of charge to bereaved people, helping them cope with their loss.  Andrew credits much of his ability to move forward to the care and guidance of Cruse.

The counselors at Cruse encouraged Andrew to establish a goal – to find something to aim for.  He soon learned that the local branch of Cruse was in danger of going under due to lack of funding.  In an effort to both find that goal to aim for and raise funds for Cruse, he decided to begin training for a marathon.  Andrew said, “The main reason I committed to running in six months time is that it would mean I would be around to at least the day after the run.”

The training occupied a lot of Andrew’s time.  “It totally consumed my life.”  He was resolved to meet the challenge and determined to even crawl if he had to.  “The training was very therapeutic for me.”  He said that he would listen to music that reminded him of his family as he ran.  It helped him remember what he was running for.  Several of his friends trained for the marathon with him.  They would meet up regularly for runs together in spite of them all living hundreds of miles apart. 

On September 6, 2006, he and his friends finished the Nottingham marathon in an unusual low of 27 degrees for that time of year.  He had sustained an injury 3 weeks before the event on an 18 mile training run and had been advised not to run the race.  “I was going to run even if it meant permanent damage,” he says with a determination I admire him for. 

Supported by many well wishers, 18 ran with him.

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(Andrew is center – number 11436)

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“All of us finished.  Time was unimportant.”  Raising both money and awareness were his primary goals.

The first person he saw as he crossed the finish line was Stacey’s mom.  “We both hugged and broke down.  Then, she looked at me and said, ‘Stacey and the children would be so proud of you.’” 

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Those are words he has never forgotten.  “Those words broke me in the moment, but also gave me a massive lift, knowing I had completed something for them.”  The determination of those who ran was, indeed, a testament to their courage, their resolve, and their hearts – which were with Stacey, Joshua, and Georgia.   “We did it for them,” Andrew says. 

Andrew has ran another marathon since the Nottingham run, raising more than $90,000 for Cruse.  He made sure that half of the money raised was donated to his struggling local branch, which was able to train eleven new counselors because of his efforts.

He has continued to give back to those who helped him through the loss.  He commenced an hour and half talk for the police on how to deal with crash victims.  On September 11, he attended Cantor Fitzgerald offices in London to speak to traders about his experience.    And, he also went on to meet with the houses of Parliament on behalf of Cruse, talking to its members in an effort to raise awareness.  “I think it’s too easy to forget the help we were given when we were in need.”  He did not want this to be the case in his situation.  “Too many people talk a good game but do nothing.”

One thing Andrew has learned in this tragedy is that life as he knew it was over the day he lost Stacey and his children.  He would never be the same.  He says “moving on” was not possible.  But he could move “forward.”  He could not move on and continue life as he knew it.  But, he could move forward. 

And, he has.

Is the pain still there?  Every single day.  “All the days you once looked forward to (birthday, holidays, etc.) suddenly become something you dread,” he said.  He added, “There is no easy way to deal on a day like that.  It’s just pure survival.”  Andrew’s counselor explained to him that his life was like that of an egg.  The egg, once broken in a pan, was his life with Stacey and his children.  The white of the egg expands around the yolk, becoming bigger – filling the pan.  This filling is time.  As more things come into Andrew’s life, the larger that white becomes.  But even as more things help fill that space, the yolk always remains the same.

His life will never be the same.  And, if anyone ever had a right to bury himself in a hole and never come out, it was Andrew. 

He didn’t.

He kept on going.  He moved forward.  And, he forever carries his family with him.

Andrew writes, “It will never be easy.  However I am still the same person, I still like to take the piss [tease] and laugh.  But I am also a lot more sensitive and willing to talk about how I feel.”

How trite I can be in my own life.  I let little things take up space that have no bearing on what really matters.  I quickly forget the brevity of life.  It is but a vapor. 

If you would like, you can donate to Cruse Bereavement Care here.

To be continued…

 

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Filed under disappointment, giving, life, Love