Friendly fire

Last Saturday, I ran a 5k with the people I go to church with. The rules of our LDS ward 5k were simple – twice around the loop at Sugarhouse Park either running, walking, biking or crawling, just get to the finish line anyway you can.
Day of the race, I was feeling unusually competitive. Not unusual on race day (or, for me, any competition), but these were my friends, my fellow church members, the people I sit next to in the pews for Sunday worship. And I was out for the kill.
I pushed to beat the high school kids and my lawyer neighbor. I pushed to beat the bishop and his wife. I pushed to beat my closest friend, her husband and their baby girl in stroller.
Too bad two new women had recently moved into the ward – a marathon runner! a cross-country coach! – and I just took 3rd for the ladies.
Yes, it seems some of my biggest competitors on the racecourse are my friends.
And that’s why I found myself last month obsessively reading the Facebook status of an old high school pal who had just run a marathon. I’ve yet to run a marathon, but I still checked her time and said to myself “Oh yeah – I could beat her.”
What has running done to me? I find great joy in the professional and personal accomplishments of my friends! I love cheering them on and watching them succeed! I’m proud when a friend hits a milestone or completes a goal!
Strap on a pair of running shoes though and GAME ON.

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