Saturday, January 11, 2014

Ideas that have changed my life....

After the OKC Full 2013- Terry Rocked it and SB was awesome to run my last 6 miles with me
Running the Dallas Half in 2012

I have been reflecting for a long while on ideas that have changed my life. Some of them are big, powerful, deep ideas and others are just something someone said that made an impact. That impact resulted in some sort of change in me. Either I changed the way I thought about something or just the way I did things but in every case, my life has been changed.

After reflecting on several of these ideas, I thought I would share them. Many of them came from you dear readers. (If there are in fact any readers---Thanks Mom and Leah) This is going to be a series of sorts. The thread that runs through each of these posts will be impact.

Today's credit for changing my life goes to Coach Cameron, my high school cross country coach. I began running cross country in the ninth grade. I probably thought at the time that it would help me be fit (emphasis on looks only) and that worked for me. Coach Cameron was so gracious. There was no 'cutting people' from the cross country team. He saw further than competition. And that vision is what led him to say his life impacting saying. I remember him regularly saying, "Running is the only sport you can do your whole life." I liked that. I thought, "that is good for me, maybe at some point I will become a real runner if I have that long to figure it out."  I never saw myself as an athlete.  But Coach C taught me to run and to be a runner.

As I mentioned, I began running in the ninth grade. For about a year up to that point I had pretty well adopted disordered eating habits. I had strongly restricted calories, ate almost no fat at all and would eat peppermints and drink water at lunch to keep my stomach from feeling hungry. I wanted to stop feeling fat and ugly. I wanted to be pretty and for people to like me. And losing from a size seven to a size three in middle school did that for me. When I began running, my body pushed back and demanded that I change how I ate. It also gave me another sense of how to measure my body....against strength and health, not just looks and feelings. Running saved me. Running saved me from an image of myself and a value system that was dangerous and less than honoring to God.

Running also gave me some things. It gave me the ability to make friends with people over a common interest. It gave me time to be with my thoughts and work things out. It gave me a way to balance my emotions with natural chemical responses. It gave me a hobby and a way to be alive with creation. It gave me friends.  Even now, I know if I want to make friends with someone, if I can just get them to run with me, we will connect. Running changed my life and I owe that gift to Coach Cameron who inspired me to adopt it for my whole life with his one statement.

My sweet friends after our last OKC Marathon Training Run

You never know when you are saying that thing that is changing someone's life.

"The power of life and death are in the tongue. Those who love it will eat its fruit." Prov. 18:21