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A Life Marathon -- The Start

It could not have been a better day to run a race than Halloween Day, 2010.  The weather was perfect a nice chill to the fall air; the runners were ready, and the atmosphere was electric.  I had been anticipating this day for months.  Yet, I did not always look forward to running a marathon.  In fact, I NEVER wanted to run a marathon.

I had been running for a couple of years now.  I ran in the Marine Corps Marathon 10K race in 2008.  I watched the marathon runners prepare for their excruciatingly long run and thought to myself, "I ain't doing that." Well, a couple of my 'I ain't doing that' opposing friends, who ran the race last year, persistently coerced me to run it this year.  "Dijon, you're a runner!  You can do this!" "Dijon, just take the pace slow and you will finish."  "It'll be great!" Yadda yadda yadda.  I reluctantly said yes.  The problem for me was not that I did not think I could do it.  The problem was I was scared. Umm, rephrase -- Haw-rhi-phied!!!  26 miles?  That's from my house clear past Annapolis!  The amount of time I could run would equal the amount of time I could drive to New York, with two rest stops and relax and eat a Cinnabon. (You want one right now, huh?) Haw-rhi-phied!!!

Taking risks is scary, isn't it?  Even the most calculated ones can be frightening.  A little while ago, I was teaching my boys how to ride a bike. And every time they got on that seat, fear would hit their face.  They were scared when I let the bike go.  Why?  Because if and when I let go, they had the major risk of failing, I mean falling.  When we let go of our fear, we have the beautiful risk of failing, I mean falling.  So instead, we hold on to our fear so that we won't fall, I mean fail.  We can often feel safe...with fear. 

If I held on to my fear, I would have never signed up to run this daring race.  I would have continued to leave that long run for the 'lunatics'.  Teaching our kids to always play it safe reduces their ability to take a risk, to know how to risk, to step out on faith, to have courage, and of being a kid.  You may ask, "What if they get hurt?"  What if I am not there when it happens?  What if they fail? What will their peers think?  Well, here are some answers:

"What if they get hurt?" -- They will live.
What if I am not there when it happens? -- Someone else will help.
What if they fail? -- Failing is often times...good!
What will their peers think? -- People are going to talk about you anyway, whether you do well or not.

I am glad that even at my age, this lunatic is still learning to take risks. 

"Always do what you are afraid to do." -- Ralph Waldo Emerson

Share your thoughts and opinions.  Either way, I would like to hear what you think.  I'm in N.O.S. to learn...

Comments

  1. Wow....thanks so much Bassman for sharing your thoughts. I am fearful right now....I was contemplating changing my mind about moving forward and moving to this new job. But, you are so right...I must embrace my fear and step forward. I was at the brink of tears before reading your message. I was allowing my fears to overwhelm me. I even took off early today so that I could drown myself in television so that I didn't have to think about it anymore. People at work are constant reminding me that I am leaving and it is really messing with my head. Thank you for your honesty. It has given me a little more courage.

    YSIC

    DS (Tenor)

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  2. I have not ran in years, but I plan on running in a 5k next year. I agree with you fear does stop you from living your best life. Sometimes you have to step out on faith and see where God leads you.

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  3. Thanks for sharing. Fear really does keep us bound big time. Without stepping out we miss what God has in store for us and he does things for our good. Yeah I can relate to the "Haw-rhi-phied" thoughts about running that long. I'll stay with my jogs. Keep letting your life be a great example to others including your ever growing, hilarious (ohhhh nooooo) boys.

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