I'm not a runner. I've ran three 5K races in my life. That's a total of 9.3 competitive miles. The term "competitive" being loosely applicable. In short, I've ran three races that total significantly less distance than one marathon. In my present training, I'm not even running 26.2 miles per week.
By some standards I'm young, but not young-young. Forty-five only counts as young-young by my own standard and that of my children, who I have convinced that I am, indeed, a young man.
At present, I'm not certain I could walk 26.2 miles. By no known standard do I have the physical or mental stamina to finish a marathon. I am, however, going to do it.
They say after you practice doing something for 30 days it becomes a habit. So, in my estimation, after several months of training a lifestyle change will have occurred; a change that will stand me in good stead for years to come. It will be a change to benefit me and my family.
Dedication not in the sense of commitment to my goal, that's a given, but rather another sense of the word.
As I'm running, I sometimes listen to audiobooks courtesy of my trusty iPhone. More often than not, I enjoy the lack of noise, which allows me to think. I think about running. I think about how to NOT attack the refrigerator like the Tasmanian Devil when I finish. I think about my dreams. I think about why Ken Griffey, Jr. never got a World Series ring. I think about my faith.
On one occasion, I began thinking about my dad. Some of you know that this September he will have been gone two years. I reflected on the good qualities that I remember, which made him such a good man to many. I though about how, in his later years, he became a Christian.
Then, my thoughts were shifted to my shuffling feet and the goal I've established. My little quest will be something good for me and the family. But, why not more? I could dedicate this goal to the memory of my father. Boom! Done. Dedication complete.
That was too easy. Why not more? So, then I though of what dad had been and had endured. He had been poor as a child and hated seeing other people, particularly children, doing without the necessities of life. My father was the victim of a devastating stroke when he was not much older than I am now, which altered his life and began a slow descent of his health. He kept his faith throughout.
Faith, Children and Action
Here's the true, complete dedication. I've dedicated my training and the ultimate race to my father, but I'm going a little further. In keeping with those things that my father was, I am also using this whole ordeal to help further the cause of an organization that seeks to aid stroke victims.
Further, I will also use what I'm doing to assist a local organization that truly exemplifies James 2:26 - "As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead." This organization has taken that verse to heart and their faith to some of the poorest and most dangerous places in the world, along with medical aide and the necessities of life to families and children. They are truly one of the most clear examples of faith in action I have ever seen.
I'm working out the details of how to accomplish this and bring the most reward to those who need it, but work them out I will. I feel compelled to do it.
An endeavor that shines a light on faith, helps children and victims of stroke is something that my father would enjoy seeing and being a part of. In a way, he will be.
I'll drop more details as they come to light, and I hope you'll join me along the way.