Give it to get it!

tony the tigerHave I worn out the jogging analogy in my blog posts yet? My last few posts have been about the life lessons I have learned from my recent jogging experiences. Even though I would still like to address a number of other related issues like discipline, bite sized pieces, enjoying the scenery, motivation, excuses, coasting, obstacles, and the finish line, I think I will likely wrap up the jogging gig with this post.

A couple weeks ago I was nearing the end of my morning 3.5 mile jog when I something unusual but encouraging happened. Now, you have to understand what I look like when I get near the end of my run. At this age, jogging is more like a marathon than a stroll in the park. So when I get to the end of my course I am pretty much toast. I am wiped out. And it is rather obvious to anyone who might pass me at that point in the trek.

So I’m coming down to my last .75 miles and I pass a teenager walking over to Monacan High school through the development in which I live. As I pass her she says “Hi” and I politely return the same. Then, out of the blue she asks, “How far do you run?” (Note, this is a teenager talking to a past middle aged man.) I said, “Usually 3.5 to 4 miles.”  Then she spoke the magical words, “GREAT, keep up the good work.” I don’t know if it was really spoken with the inflection or if it was the way I wanted to hear it, but the  “GREAT” seem to have a tone of shock and awe about it.

Those were magical words for a couple reasons. One is that at that point in my run I need all the encouragement I can get. It gave me the extra adrenalin to finish with dignity. It made the last three quarters of a mile seem like the first three quarters.

The other reason why it was so magical was because it made me think about the people of encouragement in my life. And how much I need those kinds of people, and how challenging and difficult and overwhelming life is without them.

Who are the people who lift you up when you are down? Who sees the positive in you when others are shining the spotlight on the negative? Who inspires you to not just accomplish but to excel? Who challenges you to push harder and farther and higher and longer? Who speaks magical words into your life?

Here’s the key to finding such people. Are you ready? Be one yourself.

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