Tracy and I have decided to test our mettle this fall. We have signed up to run in the Valpo half marathon. Actually, we had decided to do this feat way back in June. Part of that decision was to join a runners training group. Tracy had done this in her preparation to run the Ringing in Spring run in April. She enjoyed the extra-mile group and recommended that I participate in the training for the half marathon with her.
I have to admit that I was hesitant about the idea. Before joining the training group, my runs were either solitary or with my pup, Zeke, by my side. I didn't want to give that up. She convinced me to join the group for its first training run. I relented and went. I admit, I enjoyed the run and signed up for the training group.
A funny thing happened during my training runs, I began to pick up running mentors. The more I met with the group, the more I was able to talk with experienced runners who were training for the Chicago Marathon and the coaches who were helping with the runs. I was able to ask questions about running and conditioning. I learned about stretches by watching what the "pros" were doing. I learned about the importance of having nutrition with you during long races. This has help me immeasurably in my training.
I learned this by being around this group and having people willing to share their knowledge and experience with me, the novice. Relationships with others were being developed through this give and take I was engaged in. This was mentoring.
Corporations spend a lot of money to have their employees participate in programs like what I just described. The company I work for really pushes us to engage in these relationships. The thought is that these mentoring programs help train employees to take over leadership positions in the future.
Christ is a great example of a mentor. He taught many lessons to his disciples many different ways. He still shows us today what it means to live Christ like lives. Lessons about forgiveness and love are seen throughout the gospel. In a lot of ways, the Christian lifestyle calls upon us to be mentors and seek out mentors for ourselves. It is always nice to have these relationships accompanying us on our faith journey.
Tracy and I still have four weeks of training left before we tackle this goal race. I am grateful for all the help I have received during my participation with this training group. I know that Tracy and I are going to do well because of the mentoring we received being a part of the group. I also know that I am, what Paul described as running a race in my spiritual life. I am grateful for my FPCV family and the many mentoring relationships I have the privilege of being a part of.