I believe in an assortment of beliefs that I call the 4 rules of running with a buddy. And I find they apply to much more than just running but rather all of life. The best way to describe my belief to you is to recall a slightly wet, cool day not too long ago…
Saturday morning. It was way to early to be up, much less moving around and yet, here I was casually jogging a few blocks to my friends house to meet up with her and a few of our other running buddies for a 5 mile run. Once we all gathered, we started our run towards Nomahegan Park. Not all of us were running, one of our friends was biking. That’s the first rule about running buddies, they don’t have to run. We’re all different and even if someone isn’t a runner but prefers to ride a bike, roller blade, or something else, there’s no reason they can’t come on a run. After a few minutes on the road, one of us spoke up and explained the trouble she had to go through to get to the run today. Her mother wouldn’t let her come unless we promised that if she fell down, died, or worse, we would not leave her on the side of the road. We all found this kind of funny because this would violate another one of the rules: No Man Left Behind. No matter what, we don’t abandon them when they lose their balance on the road or elsewhere throughout life.
Anyway by now we had reached Nomahegan, our halfway point. I checked my watch and realized we had made it here five minutes faster than I had ever done on my own. Needless to say I was delighted. This was rule number three: We help each other reach our goals. Whether our goals are to win a race or just finish it we push and encourage each other until we complete our goals and with each other’s help, we achieve success. The turnaround point at Nomahegan was the waterfall. No more than a foot or two high, this waterfall was a difficult task nonetheless to walk across. Foolishly, without thinking about the dangers of crossing a waterfall, we slowly walked across the waterfall’s edge to the other side. Except one of us. By the time our friend had seen all three of us each almost lose our footing on our way across, she didn’t want to venture across the waterfall. When encouragement didn’t work, I walked back across the waterfall to her and held out a hand, “Come on, I won’t let you fall”. With a sigh, she stepped onto the waterfall, balancing herself while I and another friend stood ready to catch her if needed. It was my friend’s trust which got her across. We trust each other to help us across the more rocky paths we face throughout our lives.
The way back was uneventful. We faced a single huge hill on the way back however we only needed to use the rules to get to the top, a little trust (Rule 4) and teamwork (Rule 3) and we made it to the top, and to my friend’s house to relax.
The four rules:
1. We’re different and that’s okay
2. No one is left behind
3. Help each other achieve our goals
If you think about it, you can apply these rules to life too. Because life is a journey, the world’s greatest marathon. And really all you need is to have some “running buddies” to help you along the way.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.