30 Aug The Value of Encouragement: A Lesson From My Early Morning Run
Today I woke up late for my 5:00 am run with Taddah’s Fitness Camp. Actually, I set my clock to awake at 4:00 am and when the alarm went off I hit the snooze button and went back to sleep…. Don’t act like you have never done that before… Lol! Well, when I finally woke up, it was 4:45 and I knew I was in trouble. I jumped out of bed and my first thought was I will never make it!
Being the determined woman that I am, I kept moving full steam ahead, got dressed and got in the car and started driving toward the camp. All the way there, I was talking to myself and upset that I had overslept and was going to be late. I told myself several times that I should turn around and give up on making it today.
When I arrived, my disappointment was exacerbated by the fact that no one was in the parking lot and I knew, the camp had gone ahead. Just when I started to turn around, I saw another woman running trying to catch up with the camp. When I saw her, I thought, I can make it!
I jumped out of the car and began my run. I could see the campers running off in the distance and the woman that was right in front of me was suddenly becoming distant too. I started to feel defeated and that I would never catch up with the camp and felt I should have turned around. Just as I was beginning to slow down in defeat, one of the trainers pulled up in a car alongside me and said, “Pastor Toni…. Is that you?”
I looked at her with tears in my eyes and said “Yes, I woke up late and I’m trying to catch up with the camp.” She could hear the frustration in my voice and said “Don’t worry you only have 2.5 miles and I will ride along side you until you catch up with the camp. You can make it!”
She stayed with me for a few minutes. I started to feel better. I started to feel like I could do it. She started speaking words of encouragement, like “Come on Pastor”, “You can Do It!”, “Relax those arms going down this hill.”
Before long, the people who were afar off in the distance when I began running were coming closer into my view. Some of the people who were ahead of me when I started, I began to pass along the way and they started encouraging me. After awhile, I started seeing the finish line and I began encouraging myself, I can do it!
I finished my 2.5 mile run in less time than it would have taken me to turn around and get back home. But, I could not have made it without the encouragement that I received from the trainers and the people who were running with me.
Here are the lessons about encouragement that I gleaned from my early morning run:
- Encouragement can help people overcome feelings of defeat and frustration.
- Encouraging words from others can elicit encouragement from within.
- Encouragement can give you the stamina and energy needed to complete or finish a task.
- Encouragement is valuable, especially when you feel that you are behind.
- Encouragement can turn self-defeating talk into positive affirmations.
You never know who is running alongside you that may need your encouragement. Just because a person is late, does not mean they will always be behind…. So find some one who looks like they need it and be an encourager today!