I invited my husband to run with me two Saturdays ago. Then, I sent him away. With a scowl.
"Go on. Run ahead of me."
He turned his head toward me. He gave me a funny look. He ran a few steps ahead and said, "Like this?"
"No," I said, unpleasantly. "Keep on running. Stride out."
He ran ahead. With a puzzled look on his face. He came back, checked on me, and continued to run ahead.
"Uh-oh," I wondered. Would I be in trouble with my husband? I did invite him and then proceeded to send him away. And not very kindly either.
What compelled me to do that?
Was it my youngest of five, independent, "Do it Self" attitude that needed to prove something that sent him away?
Was it that during high school cross country races I ran by myself?
Or was it that he was w.a.l.k.i.n.g. while I "ran"?
Once he was ahead of me, my gasps for breath were no longer magnified against his walking self beside me. When he was next to me, I heard each clunky step of mine next to his quiet stride. The comparison slowed my steps, making my effort seem even harder.
When he went ahead of me, I looked up.
I began to imagine my stride as more graceful. Instead of the fitness gap between us discouraging me, I began to be inspired.
I will never run as fast as my husband even if he was not in shape and I was. He is male and talented. I am female. I run long and slow.
But watching him run fast stirs me to keep training so that I'll be as fit as I can be. It doesn't have to be the same pace as him.
I liked having him ahead of me more than next to me.
How odd this struck me, at first.
But as I pondered why I liked having him ahead of me. I realized that this was a different kind of help. An inspirational kind of help instead of the in-the-trenches sort of help.
And this is true in my daily life as well.
I need friends who are running the race at the same pace and the same effort AND I also need people ahead of me, showing me the possibility of what can be done.
I need both: the trudging-right-alongside-me friends and the way-up-ahead friends.
How about you? Do you need both kinds of friends in your life? Do you have an example of someone in your life that encourages you more by watching him (or her) run ahead of you than if they were right beside you?
p.s. Thankfully, the hubby wasn't offended in my sending him away. I was still credited with the points of inviting him along for a run.
p.p.s. I promise that this is not becoming a running blog -- at the very least my next post idea has nothing to do with running.
ppps Thanks for coming for Company Coffee and go HERE to read more.