Olympics to Detroit to You


Olympics to Detroit to You

In the last few months, I have written about the 2016 Olympics and

Paralympics and how we can learn from these incredible athletes — even

those who don’t place.

Well, a few weeks ago, I saw another video online. It was of another

inspirational runner. It was of Marathon Mission founder Lisa Harper. She

was finishing ANOTHER Detroit Marathon. I believe she has run the Detroit

Marathon every year since founding Marathon Mission, which is an

INCREDIBLE accomplishment. Simply being healthy and able to run 26.2 miles

in mid-October year after year is nothing short of amazing.

But here are some things I also noticed about Lisa in that short video. 1)

She wasn’t coming in first; 2) She wasn’t running like a Kenyan˛; 3) But

she WAS running with purpose; 4) She WAS running with joy; 5) She WAS

running, somehow, with a smile on her face; 6) She finished!

Personally, I’m not sure if Lisa runs that marathon for herself as much as

she runs it for you. By that, I mean you, the Marathon Mission member. If

you read the newsletter, you can’t help but feel how much she wants to

encourage members and help them achieve their goals and raise funds for

charity. At times, I thinks she does the marathon less for herself and

more to be an inspiration, a leader, a friend who can share the pain of

the effort with each Marathon Mission member.

Lisa didn’t know that I was writing this month’s blog about her, and I’m

sure she’s probably squirming a bit because she’s not about being praised.

She’s about seeing others be successful, but I guess she’ll just have to

squirm. :)

So, how does Lisa’s example help you? Well, first off, you know that Lisa

IS a reliable resource. She cares. But perhaps what we all learn from is

her approach to running. I’m sure she hits the door and puts in her miles

on a regular basis because she enjoys it. But she also runs for you,

Marathon Missioners. So, what IF you took on the same approach? What IF

you also ran for reasons beyond yourself?

You may say, “Well, I’m running for this particular charity this year.

Very good. That’s the spirit of Marathon Mission. But when you cross the

finish line, what then?

I would offer the idea of looking to help someone ELSE be successful in

doing the same. Help someone else achieve their goals . . . once a week,

run with a beginning running who is taking on his/her first 5K or 10K.

Sure you may end up walking some (or even quite a bit), but when you give

of yourself like that, when you put the other person’s need for

encouragement and help ahead of your own plans, you may find it surprising

how much you start to look forward to that shared time . . . and while

you’re mind is on helping someone else, you may just find that you’re

actually helping yourself more than you ever imagined.

Will running slower and walking give you faster times? Maybe not, but it

could give you more enjoyable times (creating deeper friendships,

conversations, etc.). The Bible actually has wisdom here: It’s better to

give than receive. Weird, huh? But I think we all know what it feels like

to be a part of making someone’s life better. We’re wired in a way that it

brings lasting joy to our hearts. It makes us feel better as a person.

Whereas if running is focused on setting PRs, well, that’s great . . . you

set one . . . now you got to beat THAT time. It’s a mindset that will

sooner or later lead to failure after failure . . . whereas give of

yourself, and you’re looking at adding friend after friend.

Anyway, I’ve known Lisa since the early years of Marathon Mission. She

bugged me for several years before I relented and made the journey to run

the Detroit Marathon (driving from Springfield, Missouri, two different

times to run it). But in all those years, even though Lisa is a very

gifted runner (and her kids are too), it hasn’t been her running skills

that have kept me a part of Marathon Mission, It’s been her people

skills. She puts people first and yet, she manages to run 26.2 every

October with a smile on her face and a song in her heart.

SO, Marathon Missioners, if you’re looking for a running role model who

will help you get the most enjoyment out of running, let me recommend

Lisa. When you read this newsletter, I urge you to read it with the

understanding that here’s someone who really cares about Marathon Mission

and cares about you!

Now, look around to see who might welcome your help in achieving their

running goal, give of yourself, and . . .

Have an awesome run today! : )

Dan Van Veen


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