What Sets Us FreeDo you ever try to earn points with God?
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To put it simply, I am blessed. I run for a living but running is just a part of who I am - more than likely its the part that brought you here. I love what I do but putting one foot in front of the other and pumping my arms doesnt define me. Running is one of the things I was created to do. Nothing quite like 2 hours and 13 minutes of 26-mile fun! (Except perhaps 2 hours and 4 minutes.) Yes, I was the guy on "The Bachelorette" show, please don't hold it against me. A cool experience, just know Reality TV isn't exactly Reality. Met some great guys on that show, it was a total blast. The third paragraph, where letters get good, the place where the penman delves deeper, where the scribe scribbles their way to the crux of the matter. The first two paragraphs are warm up laps if you will - unless youre Chuck Palahniuk and the first line of your novel is, Tyler gets me a job as a waiter, after that Tylers pushing a gun in my mouth and saying, the first step to eternal life is you have to die. No warm up. If Chuck were a track athlete hed run the 100, he certainly knows how to get out of the blocks. So allow me obliterate the ambiguity in paragraph four and dive head first into the rabbit hole. I am in the public eye and as such so is my theism. And if you know anything about me you probably have gathered that my faith is the most important facet of my life... no facet is a horrible word, the wrong word. Facet means one side of a many sided figure. I am my faith - my faith is me. Running, writing, and speaking is a facet of my faith, I put these things with God not God with these things. The difference is paramount. I must admit, I hesitated when I checked the Myspace box for being a Christian. I dont know what "Christian" means anymore. I know what its supposed to mean, I know what it should mean, I'm a huge fan of the word's namesake, but that definition has long since faded away. Today, the word has been diluted. Call me a Christ follower - just so there's no confusion. Just to be clear - I am not religious. This isnt about religion. Religion is dangerous. People bomb buses and buildings in the name of religion; religious people tend to make me very, very nervous. Being in the hands of religious men is a dangerous, dangerous place to be... ask Jesus - Hell tell you the same thing. He didn't come to start a religion; He came to start a relationship. He left eternity and entered time for love - His unmatched, unparalleled, unexplainable love for us. Love was His message then and love is His message today. He showed the way, He paved the way, He is the Way. Some lead nations, some lead armies, some write books, while others philosophize but Jesus comes, shows His face for 33 years and serves as the bookmark at the center of history and gets the timelines named after Him. He conquered the world with love. To conquer with force is one thing but to conquer with love is a different matter entirely. Not bad work for a bearded carpenter. More about me... I love writing and widmer, sports and sunsets, pier sitting and pier jumping, I have three tattoos. I love music and the beach. Music takes you places words could never go. I grew up in San Diego, and currently split time between Mammoth and Laguna. The more I run the more I realize that it isn't about running at all, it's about life, about being faithful with what you have been given, being the absolute best you can be. Mistakes will happen, failure will come but failure is a fact of life, not a way of life. Some of the best advice I ever heard was during my college years... "Never, never, never, ever, ever, quit." When you get knocked down, get up... What does it take to get someone to quit? That is the test of a man. Losing makes you look inside, makes you evaluate. Show me someone who hates to lose and I will show you a champion. If I may take a quote from Lombardi: "Winning is not a sometime thing; it's an all-the-time thing. You don't win once in a while, you don't do things right once in a while, you do them right all the time. Winning is a habit, unfortunately so is losing." Most people lose not because they attempt and fail but rather because they fail to show up all together. They allow the fear of failure to overcome them and they become apathetic, they find it easier to let go of their dreams than to attempt greatness and fall short. It breaks my heart when I meet people who have given up on their dreams. Always follow your heart and believe in your dreams, everyday you must grab your dream and hold onto it with everything you have, people will try and steal your dreams from you, they will say you can't, you're not qualified, you're a dreamer. I remember telling people in '98 that I was putting off grad school to try and qualify for the 2000 Olympic Trials, they told me that was a bad idea, that I should go to school. For every dreamer there are a hundred critics. One of my favorite quotes is from a great former president: "It is not the critic who counts, not the man who points out how the strong man stumbled, or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena; whose face is marred by the dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions and spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best, knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who, at worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly; so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory or defeat." THEODORE ROOSEVELT I thank God for the critic, without them there would be no one to prove wrong. Being faithful with what God has entrusted is the most important thing, He says "Well done good and FAITHFUL servant" not "Well done good and SUCCESSFUL servant." Success IS being faithful. There will always be those with more talent, those with greater raw tools but hard work closes the gap to the more talented, you just have to want it more than they do, work harder than them, plain and simple. Claw, scrape, and bleed to get the job done. Treat your talents as the special gift they are, treat your relationships with the love and care they deserve - in the end relationships are all we have. Give everything, follow your heart. Risk. Put all your chips on the line...that's when we live. Chase your passions, do the the thing that makes you come alive, do the thing you are not sure you can do. Do that and you truly live. Do that and you have already won. I have been blessed far beyond anything I could have ever hoped for or imagined. As long as I have breath in my lungs I will live from my heart. Never compromise your dreams, and never compromise your heart. Every person has the ability to be great at something, it is up to us to figure out what that something is and dedicate our lives to achieving that greatness. Find your something, ignore the cold and timid souls, believe in your dreams and get busy making them a reality. And above all else... love one other because Love wins in The End.
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