During dryland one day, I had a lot of fun watching the boys do an interval conditioning run. For those that don’t know what this entails, here is a brief run down:
- A group lightly jogs in a single file line
- The last person in line sprints to the front
- When that person gets the front the next person sprints to the front
- So on and so forth
It really is a phenomenal exercise for cardiovascular endurance, and also, communication and teamwork. The line must maintain a pace they can keep up, as well as communicate in order for the person in the back to know when to sprint forward.
On this particular day, there were two lines doing the run. One line took a long time to figure it out. They would be far too spread out, putting more strain on the sprinter to make it to the front. The other team however, figured it out quickly. They maintained an acceptable jogging pace, kept together, and once the sprinter reached the front they would all yell “GO” in unison to let the next person to sprint know when to start. It was really something to watch the leadership of this line, from the first to the last runner.
However, even though they were doing a great job, some of the kids began to struggle towards the five minute mark. Their line began to break down. But what unfolded from this struggle was unbelievable. In one particular instance, a strong runner literally pushed a struggling runner to help him keep up with the line. This went on for a while and it was amazing to not only see the work of the strong runner, but the will and appreciation of the runner who would have been falling behind.
I wonder what would have happened had no one helped the runner who was falling behind? I imagine he would have probably slowly given up, dropped off the pack and quit. Yet, because someone stepped up and helped him, they continued with the exercise and accomplished far more than simply running.
How many times in our lives do we see someone falling behind? They’re struggling and need help, but we simply run right by them. We either get too worried about ourselves, distracted by something else, or assume someone else will help them. What would happen if we were willing to give just a small push. Something to keep them going. Something to help them regain their strength so that they may keep running.
I hope this is what we do at camp. Kids show up with lots of things going on in their lives. Sometimes life is tiring for them, often it is difficult for them. I know because I once was a camper too. When I came to know Christ, camp was one week of the year that I could recharge. Often frustrated, confused, and discouraged, hockey camp provided an environment where I could feel comfortable, ask questions, and learn. Often I went into hockey camp lagging. I was falling behind and about to give up. But throughout camp I was given the shove I needed to keep going and the confidence to stay strong in my faith.
Just like these boys demonstrated, we need to step up and help in the lives of others around us. So I encourage you to keep running. No matter where you are or where you’ve been….keep running. And if you see someone else falling behind, give them a push. If you are the one falling behind, don’t let pride prevent you from getting a push from someone else. Just keep running!
Until next time,