With A Little Help From My Friends

Photo credit: Jaybirdsport.com
Photo credit: Jaybirdsport.com

I hit a milestone last week when I ran 3.5 miles straight!  I don’t enjoy running so for me this was a big deal.  I’ve heard that it’s possible to enjoy it, that some people in fact do, but I’m not sure I believe that.  I’ve been running off and on for the past fifteen years of my life, and I’ve never even been tempted to describe it as “fun,” “enjoyable,” or even “not so bad.”

My picture of running might be a bit jaded, since I just started running again after a break that lasted over a year.  I’m in the most painful stages right now, but I’m coming through it, largely because I started to run with my friend Jason.  He and I have been heading out to run together for the past few weeks, and while neither of us is very enthusiastic about running, we know that it’s good for us, and doing it together makes it a bit more tolerable.

Whenever I try to do something hard, I think it helps to have someone with me to challenge me and support me.  I can be a bit of a wimp, and so whenever I’m ready to give up it helps to have someone next to me saying, “you can do this.”

When we do demanding things, it helps to have friends there to support us.  There’s a lot of places where this is relevant, but I think

photo credit: cockeyed.com
photo credit: cockeyed.com

it’s especially so in our personal lives.  For example, I’m willing to guess everyone reading this post values honesty.  But do I really need to be honest when I see a person drop a hundred dollar bill?  At this point being honest becomes hard, and that’s where good friends come in.  A few years ago my friend Joe and I were entering Cabela’s and we found $300 laying the parking lot.  It would have been very easy to take the money and leave, and yet through our mutual support we decided to turn it in at the front desk.  Sure enough, by the time we left a panicked woman had approached the management claiming to have lost $300 in the parking lot.  Cabela’s was so proud of us that they gave us a free pocket knife!  (Only one, so Joe and I also learned a lesson in sharing).

Just as good friends support us in life, bad friends can undermine our values.  I still remember the first time I tried chewing tobacco.  I was 14, but I was hanging out with some older guys who I looked up to.  I wanted to be cool and so when they all threw in dips, I did too.  I didn’t look as cool when I threw up everything I had eaten in the past month!

It’s important to surround yourself with people who will help you grow and not hold you back.  You should be able to talk about your values with your friends, and support each other when the times get tough!

What values do you share with your friends?  When your values are challenged, who supports you?  We’ve all heard of them, but have you ever actually met a person who likes running?  (Of course not, they’re as legendary as big foot!)

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