Chasing the Lion
I always have a thought before I step off on a long run. It's usually the words that leave my mouth before I settle into that place in my mind where I feel like I am half awake and half dreaming mile after mile. The thought is: It's time to chase the lion. I read a book once called In a Pit with a Lion. It's about Benaiah from the Bible and how he chased a lion (II Samuel 23:20). The book in a nutshell is about how at the end of your life you will regret the lions you didn't chase. It's also about how anything is possible, overcoming your fears and taking risks. When I think about chasing my own lion I think about it differently. Chasing my lion isn't so much about overcoming. I never dwell much on victories in the arena that for me are the trails where I love to run. For me, my lion is my relationship with God and my desire to know Him on a deeper level. When I am chasing my lion I am simply running toward a deeper more meaningful existence. For me, this is found in my friendship with God. I use the word friendship instead of relationship because it's the friendship aspect of our relationship that excites me most. Sometimes I feel this friendship, which brings on indescribable inspiration, and at times can be overwhelming, is the reason I am alive. If you have ever felt God smile there is nothing that compares. If you haven't, it's worth chasing. As the month of March winds down and we get ready to step off into April I realize it has been one of the greatest months of my life. It will end with the seventh birthday of my daughter and a wonderful party. It will be a fitting finale to celebrate her birth and a new beginning into another chapter of her life. I love watching her grow and become more beautiful each day. At the end of March I find myself in the best physical shape of my life. My mind is clear and open. I feel my spirit is open and accepting to the challenge I have chosen. June will be here in a blink of an eye and I will be caught up in the whirlwind of the greatest challenge of my life - the Midwest Grand Slam of Ultra Running. I am running to honor my mother who died of breast cancer at the age of 40. She had a hard life. I have no memory of it ever being easy for her. She was a fighter. Her greatest love in life was her children. I have thought about her so much in the last few months. I've told my wife I feel I have already healed so much from past regrets. I know there is much more healing to do. I believe, the more we love the deeper we are allowed to go. When I began training for the challenge of running four 100 mile races (I've since added Oil Creek 100 to the mix making it five 100 mile races in five months) I thought I might find a fitting way to finally say goodbye to my mother. I failed to say it before she died. I'm beginning to feel there may not be a reason for goodbyes. I'm beginning to believe that nothing ever dies. Everything just always is. The ones we love are always with us. If we search deep enough we can feel their smiles upon us. Those smiles we remember can fuel any fire. They are inspiration and happiness. They can make any dream possible.
If you would like to donate to the National Breast Cancer Foundation in honor of my mother and to support my Grandslam Against Breast Cancer please visit this link: http://www.stayclassy.org/fundraise?fcid=181875
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