I talk to rocks…

I´ve never been one to meet a stranger. I find it fairly easy to conversate with a rock if the mood strikes but some rocks (people) that you find stops you in your tracks and alters your perception of life. I truly believe there are no coincidences in life, they are signs, and each person that you meet you can learn something from. Spend a little more time getting to know your new found rock and you´ll find something beautiful if you listen closely just as I discovered…

I ran my very first marathon in Coban, Guatemala this past Sunday and I made a friend while waiting at the start. I was trying to coach and encourage my friend I had coaxed into running with me and cracked a few jokes and this older lady behind us with blonde hair and pretty blue eyes chimed in. She was older, maybe in her late 50´s, and she fit into our conversation quite nicely. Since there weren´t alot of blonde´s in race that spoke English I couldn´t help but to wonder where she came from and what brought her to Coban… of course I asked.

She explained that she worked for the Swedish Embassy and was sent to Guatemala for 1 year 25 years ago. She fell in love with the people and the culture and decided to stay. I understood completely. She was very kind and gave me all sorts of advice on where to go and what to see and where was safe. I then asked how long she had been running marathons and she replied, ¨I just started a year ago.¨ I was very impressed and then asked why she decided only a year ago to do it? ¨My 2 older sons left for University and I needed a hobby so I thought why not try running.¨ She said they call to check in and when they do they talk about their classes, events, and grades. I always ask them though, ¨Are you happy?¨ That is all that matters in the end she explained.

This was so inspiring for me and I immediately thought to myself, ¨I want to be this awesome at her age.¨ <I mean this lady, late 50´s, in great shape (maybe better than me), a great mom> What a motivation and an inspiration!

The race started shortly after and I lost my new friend in the sea of runners.

The streets were colorful and I noticed all the genune smiles of encouragment. There were families that didn´t have much but offered bags of water along the way. I made another friend at the 5k marker that helped push me and motivate my pace. After the half way point was more of a mind game. There were uphill treks that shortened your breathing and added strain to your knees. When I felt my body wearing down this came to mind: I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. (Phillipians 4:13) I literally repeated this over and over in my mind and completed the full 21k without stopping once.

After the finish I crossed paths with my new Swiss friend once again. She talked me through some stretches (because I looked liked a flamingo with a cramp). We discussed the race and how amazing it felt to cross the finish line. Then we talked about life…

She explained that her mother passed away 2 years ago but left this world in the best way. She recalled going to visit her in hospice. Her mom would watch TV and say, ¨I´ve been there. I´ve seen that. I´ve done that.¨ Her mom realized she had done it all, seen it all, and was at peace. She then said,¨That is what we should all want…to make it to the end and know we did everything we wanted to with no regrets.¨ All of her brothers and sisters also visited her mom everyday. That also said alot about her mom and how amazing she was.

I want to be like that. I want to make it to the end with no regrets and children that visit everyday. I want to know that I´ve done it all, seen it all, and experienced life the way I wanted to. These are two additional rocks I will add to my collection.

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