Sunday, November 13, 2011

You're Doing Good

It was chilly and windy this past Saturday morning. Actually, it was downright cold - 32 degrees - to be somewhat exact. I was bouncing up and down trying to stay warm at the starting line ready for my annual Ntelos 8k run (which is five miles). This run is also a part of the Richmond Suntrust Marathon. The past two years, I ran the half-marathon; but, mile six proved more than enough for me. My body felt just fine during the run. My mind, on the other hand, began to wonder what kind of fool am I. Waiting for the official start, I began to recollect about my very first race.

Weeks prior to that first race, I ran at least three times per week as well as ate only heart healthy foods.  I had even gotten my total cholesterol level down to 186 and began calling myself a finely tuned athlete - or so I thought. Now, the day before the race; I ate a generous portion of meatless spaghetti, drank plenty of water and turned in early for the night. I felt like a little boy waiting for Santa to arrive on Christmas Eve.

The next morning, I donned my running outfit and made my way to Richmond, Virginia for the start of the six-mile run. The weather was cool and comfortable as I anxiously waited at the starting line with thousands of other runners. The very thin runners at the very front of the line were from Kenya and Ethiopia. Studying them very closely, I decided to take my place about a few thousand people behind them. Following the broadcast recorded version of "The Star Spangled Banner" and the sound of a gunshot; we began our run up Broad Street until we connected onto Monument Avenue. Minutes later and leaving out of mile one, the Kenyans and Ethiopians were now entering the last mile of the race on the opposite side of Monument Avenue. Watching the elite runners about to finish the race, I thought, "Okay. So, I'm not going to win this one." The excitement and energy had left my body after watching the career runners enter the finish gate; while I was puttering into mile two.

Running up the cobblestone street encircled by dozens of other runners, my heart began to pound and sweat poured from my body as more experienced runners passed me like I was standing still. However, I kept my pace for the next couple of miles. After some time had passed, I heard a clear and distinct voice in my head. And no, I'm not a psycho, either.

"Quit! Just quit!" the voice commanded.
"No!" I replied aloud, as other runners moved far away from me.
"You did good by registering for this race. That's more than enough. That's all you had to do. Quit," the voice said.
"No, I'm gonna run this race," I replied.

More and more runners were passing me while giving me a strange look. They may have thought that I was a bit "psycho."

"Why don't you just stop and get up on that sidewalk," the voice commanded.
"No! Why?" I asked.
"Your heart is beating too fast. You're sweating. Everyone is passing you. You came out here and tried to run - and that's good. So, now - just quit. Go to the sidewalk and walk to the finish line. Who cares?"
"I do."
Once again, the voice commanded, "Quit!"
"I can't quit," I replied.
"That's right! Don't quit!" a fellow runner offered, much to my amusement.

Later, with beads of sweat resting on my eyelashes, I looked to my right and saw a handsome blond lady. She said, "You're doing good. You have about a half of a mile left in the run," in the calmest and most reassuring voice.
"For real?" I asked.
"Yes, I wouldn't lie to you," she replied.
With renewed excitement and energy and with the speed of lightning, I sprinted to the finish line and made it well within my predicted time.

Waiting for my bodily functions to return to normal in the finishing corral; I thought, "Oh my! I was communing with Satan on my run, and the blond lady was an angel. I'm glad I didn't listen to him. Or am I just delirious and really a psycho, too?"

Now each year, everyone asks me how did I do in the race. My normal response is, "I finished behind the Kenyans and the Ethiopians....waaaayyy behind them. And, I didn't commune with Satan, either."

Next Wednesday is Thanksgiving Eve, and my cousins are coming over for Thanksgiving dinner. So, I may take the week off or if they are wacky, zany and funny enough - I'll post about them, anyway.

Nevertheless, keep praising His name.

Much love,
Sir Charles

( P.S. I have started a "What's Happening" blog at If you or someone you know are a new or local talent in your area, author, band, lecturer, church or organization, and would like to notify the world (or half of the world or the neighborhood) of your event; send me an email with the date, contact information, time, location and a paragraph about your event to Then, share this and the "What's Happening" blogs with all of your friends. Your event will remain on the blog until the event ends. It's free - for now!  My novels are available on - Charles Carroll Lee)

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