Several years ago, my wife and I were traveling to Hawaii for vacation. During our flight, Diane was reading a magazine about island events and found a 10K what was scheduled during our stay. We read about it and it was pretty close to where we were staying so we decided to do it. The day before the race, we drove to the location of the race and signed up. There was a lot of activity and a large expo for triathletes. It seems crazy now, but at the time, neither of us took notice of the word "extreme" in the title of the race. "Xterra Extreme 10K".
We were both in pretty good condition but it turned out to be one of the toughest runs we had ever done. Picture a single track trail through dense jungle foliage with portions so steep that steps had been carved into the dirt. There were downed trees over the trail that you had to either jump over or squeeze under. Then the course wound through a bare lava field with razor sharp lava rocks on both sides of the trail. Finally, there was about 1/4 mile of soft beach sand to navigate before the finish.
But in spite of all the challenges, it was something quite different that caught our attention and we still speak of today. Due to the extreme nature of the course, there were more aid stations than usual for a 10K. Each aid station was staffed with several volunteers who were cheering us on with encouraging words, along with providing cold water and Gatorade. It wasn't until after the race that we realized that the expo and all the activity was not for the 10K we ran, but for the Xterra Extreme World Championship Triathlon to be run the following day. The 10K we participated in was held the day before the championship for amateurs like us. And the people at the aid stations who were so encouraging and helpful - they were the professional athletes who would compete the next day. What a great example!
None of us are too special or too important to serve. In fact, Jesus said "whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant."
Several times as we have run on Pre's trail we've encountered Nick Simmonds or Andrew Wheating. In spite of the fact that both are Olympians, they always have an encouraging word for us. Who can you serve this week? It doesn't take much to make someone feel special or valued. Just a simple gesture or a word of encouragement will do it.
The Calvary Running Team excels at encouraging. It doesn't matter your fitness level or what life challenge you're facing, we would love to come alongside and support you. Come join the CRT for a run this week. On Wednesday we will meet at noon at the new Millrace extension to the Clearwater trail. It's on the corner of 32nd street and Jasper road, between Agnes Steward school and Douglas Gardens school. On Saturday we will meet at 9 am at Millrace Trail. On Sunday we will meet at Clearwater trail at 3 pm.
I hope to see you out there.
Have a great week!