Well this is the first of I’m sure many posts concerning my adjustments to life with a child. Don’t get me wrong, having a son has been a tremendous blessing…but there are times when I really feel the change. My 32nd birthday was one of those moments. Below are a few of the ways that Ben is bringing about change to life…

1. My birthday began way earlier this year than ever before.

Ben got the day started early. 5:30 AM. I used to have trouble waking up at this time of day, but that issue is being corrected quickly thanks to my son. He brings the energy at that time of day and then keeps it going throughout. I can honestly say that my 32nd birthday was the earliest I have every woken up to begin my celebrating. Thanks son.

2. My birthday revolved around my family.

I love that now I get to celebrate the day with my wife and son. They bring me a tremendous amount of joy and I’m so glad to hang out with them. I loved that I got to have breakfast at home, go to one of my favorite restaurants (Tarahumara’s in Norman) for lunch, and relax at the house for dinner…and have them with me all along the way. What a blessing.

3. My birthday included a run.

I was excited about my birthday lunch. I went to my favorite Mexican restaurant and thoroughly enjoyed the food! But I am also running a half marathon in Seattle in the month of June, which means I need to train. So after eating a great Mexican meal and a cookie on top of that, I went for a 10 mile run that afternoon. It was terrible. It was windy, humid, and the sun was out. Did I mention I had Mexican food for lunch? But here’s how Ben works into the running part of my birthday: I want to stay as healthy & active as I can so that I can fully enjoy the time we have together…plus I also want to set a good example of self-discipline for my son starting now.

So there you go, a few ways that Ben is changing life and bringing more focus to what’s important. By the way, the picture at the top of the post was taken towards the end of my birthday celebrating just before Ben went to bed…it is a classic! Have a good one friends!

Well I have now officially completed a marathon. There are so many things that I’d love to say about the experience…but I’ll try to chisel the list down to just a few.

1) Weather plays a huge factor…

The race was set to begin at 6:30 AM, but due to some ominous looking clouds plus the lightening…the race didn’t begin until 8:15 AM. This was huge for two reasons.

First, you basically gear everything to start at 6:30 AM. I woke up at 3:00 AM to eat breakfast. I drank water & gatorade that morning. Everything was set with the thought that we’d start at the original time…but that was not to be. Not to go into details too much, but I’ve never seen such long lines for porta potties in my life.

Not only did the weather affect the start of the race, but it made the second part of the race all the more fun/challenging. The sun came out around mile 10-11 & then the winds picked up soon after. By the time I was on miles 19-23, I felt like I was running stationary.

2) Human Beings play a huge factor…

I started having spasms in my quads during the 2nd half of the race. This didn’t help me run the last 10 miles all that well. But I saw several friends/family down the stretch & that made a huge difference. I would see someone & I found myself running with greater effort plus more joy at seeing a familiar face.

At the very end of the race, I could barely continue…but I saw a group of friends from SHBC. Here’s a pic taken by one of them in that moment…

photo (1)Please know that this picture shows me smiling. And the reason that I was smiling wasn’t because the end was near. It wasn’t because the pain of running was coming to a close. It was because I saw some people I actually knew. I am running like a 90 year old man at this point…but seeing those people made a huge impact.

I think there’s something to this. Encouragement goes such a long ways. I was so thankful for all the encouragement I received during the race…but I don’t want to remember that without doing it myself. I want to be a person that encourages others towards good things as well. Maybe the marathon can remind all of us of that simple truth: encouragement matters. In fact, it is in the Bible…Ephesians 4:29 says, “Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.” 

3) Knowing there’s a Finish Line plays a huge factor…

I didn’t reach my initial time goal for the marathon. That was abandoned around mile 16. But knowing that there really was a finish line out there in front of me helped so much. Not only was there a finish line, but for me…I knew there was a sticker I was going to put on the old Escape! So as I ran into the wind that seemed to never cease along Classen & that’s what I thought about…the sticker! It is just a symbol of what took place. I ran a long time. But I got to the finish line.

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Bottom line: Marathons are hard. But there is a great reward in doing them. Now to rest up before training begins for the next one!