As you know, I’m working at the Y on Saturday’s. Therefore, today I had the privilege of checking in my friend “Manny.” His real name is foreign and entirely too long and complicated to pronoun, so everyone has shortened. Every time I am there working out or take a cycling or spinning class there is good ol’ Manny. Manny is a 70 year old marathon runner. Every 3-4 months he runs a marathon. He has been doing this for years, and he is constantly conditioning his body to prepare for these races. He is in excellent shape.
Today, I was talking to him about his upcoming race he is preparing for in November. He will be running a marathon in New York, which has a portion of spread that goes along the coast and the trails through Central Park. He invited me to come along with him right on the bat, which, I kind of giggled, and said no. His response was “Why not?? You can do it! Start training now! It is never too late!” That is one thing I love about Manny…he is so much more advanced in cycling, spinning, running, weight lifting, ect than most the people in the gym, yet he was showing me an article in the Times Magazine where he was learning about why people gain weight when they first start working out. He is not above anyone even though he has been in the game much longer than most people. In fact, he wanted me to make copies of the article and post it around so that people would not get discouraged, and so that they would have better tools for health.
I wish more people were like Manny in the Christian circuit. (Don’t get me wrong there are some…but there should be more).
I have a sheet that has my like top five favorite verses on it on my mirror in my bathroom. Two of them are Hebrews 12:1-2 and then Philippians 3:13-14. They both remind me that we are pressing toward a goal…that is constant. We never quit running that race. We are constantly in training, just like Manny. Also, for those that are not so new to the race or Christianity, it is our job to ask people along the way to come with us as well as help encourage them and avoid the pitfalls that could possibly come our way.
I am so thankful for the people in my life that have led the way for me. They have warned me, helped me dust my knees off when I fall down, and then even set me up so that I can avoid whatever pitfall it was.
Later I heard Manny talking to a lady. He is teaching an outdoor, walk-run class and was trying to get her to come. He offered to walk with the lady today, just to make her feel less self conscious. He said, “it doesn’t matter how fast you go, it’s that your with us and you get there!”
I truly do want to be like Manny in ministry and in life. As Christians wouldn’t that be cool he we wanted as many people just to be with us, no matter how they get there!
Maybe his story will help you in some way. If not, then you know you can always come to the Y, and he will walk with you. 🙂