Friday, February 21, 2014

The Power of Encouragement

One of the things you hear marathon runners talk about is “the wall”. This is the moment around mile 20 or so when many people reach that critical point where a physical and mental choice is made. The choice revolves around continuing to run, walking, or for some just plain quitting.

I can remember hitting this moment during my fist marathon several years ago.

It was somewhere around mile 22 and after three and a half hours of running. It seemed most of the people around me at this point were walking or doing a little run/walk combo. To say we were running at this point was a bit of stretch.

Oh how I longed for the pain end and to join the comfort of those who were walking.
One cool thing at the Dallas White Rock Marathon is that if you are a first time marathoner you have a different number you wear so that anyone will know you are a first timer.  

Here back at the end of the pack there were several of us first timers.

As my desire to stop was reaching a crescendo, a first timer that was slightly ahead of me had started walking. There on the corner standing alone was a friendly spectator that saw this and shouted, “Hey first timer! Come on! You are almost there and looking good! Don’t start walking! Go for the finish!”

These words were not intended for me. 

The person of intention kept on walking.
 
But for me it made a difference.

Her words right at that moment encouraged me to keep moving and to reach the goal I had spent so many months working towards. I was just four miles from completing my dream to run a marathon and I was not about to stop running now thanks to some kindness that was not even intended for me.

The lesson I learned from this moment is that we can never really know the power of our positive attitude. We may miss the mark with the person we intend to help at the time but may be setting an example unknowingly to help someone else. Part of me also hopes that walker soaked in the encouragement and later crossed the line in triumph.


Don't give up. It just takes a small step to move forward.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Hello My Name Is.....

Hello my name is…..

Regret, stupid, mistake, loser, ugly, fat, defeat

For many people the labels we wear in our hearts about who or what we think we really are can be completely debilitating. Many are self-created for no real reason at all while others are the result of false assessments placed on us through the ignorance and meanness of others.

I am 46 yet in my head on bad day I can see very clearly the time as a second or third grader when in a moment of self defeat I etched “dummie” on  a brick outside the west side of our house. That moment and that word haunted me for years as not only did it continue to echo in my head but later I realized it would not come off the brick. I had created a false label. 

I think we all do this. We etch labels so deeply in our hearts that we just can’t seem to remove them. Then for some to feel better they transfer these labels to others in an effort to feel better.  I know way too many people that hate themselves and then in turn spend too much time pulling down the world around them.

I will be taller by making those around me smaller.

As Matthew West so successfully reminds us in his song we are not in many cases who we might think. Do not believe the lies. You (and I) have been placed on this world for a reason.

You can and will make a difference for your future. You can leave your past behind.

Hello
Person of influence
Successful employee
Go getter
Loving parent
Devoted spouse
Faithful servant of God


It is wonderful to meet you. 

What is your label?