“There is something beautiful about working so hard that you are reduced to silence next to your friends. Some friendships never get to the level where silence is comfortable, let alone productive or healing. Some friends will never understand the unspoken.”
-Kristin Armstrong, Author and runner
I really like this friend of mine. He was with me when I’m on top of the world and still with me now that I’m at the bottom. Everytime I needed him, he will come to assist me. Sometimes, he will give me advise but most of the times, he will just listen. He is not a runner but upon learning that I love to run, he is now embracing this Sports just to keep in phase with me. Most of the times, we ran together -sharing life’s experiences, its joys and sorrows..
One time I gave him a nice singlet and he was very delighted. For him, that became his turning point. He wore that shirt in his running sessions and finally, he ran his first ever Race, a 32K in Baldrunner’s Rizal Day Run last December 30, 2010. I was with him from KM 0 to KM 32. At one point, he struggled a lot, thinking of quitting. I can’t blame him for I gave him a tough nut to crack -a 32k as his first ever race. But I stayed with him. During that race, we have a good time of our lives, reminiscing those trials and hardships we encountered in our younger years. We laughed at ourselves as we remembered how some of the decisions we’ve made were done so foolishly, affecting our lives now. But nonetheless, we have no regrets. We became stronger through failures and how can we learn if we will not fail?
As I saw my friend struggling at KM 22 and seeing the wall, I shared with him the content of a book I just read and memorized by heart. Harold Sherman once wrote a book entitled How To turn Failure Into Success. In it he gave the following code of persistence and I recited this to him and elaborated its content. Here it goes:
1. I will never give up as long as I know I am right.
2. I will believe that all things will work out for me if I hang on to the end.
3. I will be courageous and undismayed in the face of poor odds.
4. I will not permit anyone to intimidate or deter me from my goals.
5. I will try again and again and yet again to accomplish what I desire.
Those mantras helped him finish his first ever race. And he was overjoyed when he received a medal at the finish line.
As the saying goes, “Life is not a sprint, but a marathon.” We can endure longer if we have a loyal friend besides us. I can still remember Jeff Galloway, an icon in the world of running, in an interview, he said that his precious moments in running is not during those times that he had won the marathon, but when he reached the finish line with his running friends on his side.
In the Northface 100k trail run in Baguio City just held recently, I was so inspired upon seeing in pictures three of my running friends (Jonel Mendoza aka Bugobugo & frontRunner, Ronald Declarador aka Run Bike Climb and Dennis Ravanzo aka Running Pinoy) ran as a trio until they reached the finish line. They ran/climbed/walked side by side against all odds and elements and I knew, they have fun among themselves. That companionship enabled them to finish that fearsome Trail Race dubbed by many as one of the toughest.
And how can I ever forget my companion in Subic International Marathon where I got injured, persevered and walked 39 kms just to finish that 42 kms race? That guy will always be remembered as one of the best. He stayed with me through thick and thin, in darkness, in hunger and in thirst.
Thank you. You are indeed a blessing.
To God be the Glory.