California Love

First I’d like to offer my apologies to anyone who typically reads my blog as it’s been a while since I’ve last posted… I must have started and gave up on ten different posts then decided maybe I needed a break. So here I am, back and freshy-fresh 🙂

Earlier this month my family and I took a vacation to Southern California. It’s where I lived when I met my husband, where his entire family still lives and my hands-down favorite place to visit.

Upon arrival I quickly found myself on the hotel’s treadmill. They have a nice little fitness center and I honestly can’t say enough about my satisfaction with Hilton-brand hotels’ workout rooms. I have consistently found their treadmills to be gym-quality and their assortment of weights and equipment to be more than adequate. However, the beautiful weather each morning was beckoning me… I so badly wanted to run outdoors.

So, one morning armed with my GPS and my iPhone I set off. I was about 1.5 miles into my run when *gasp* I saw her – another runner! She then turned off the road ahead of me through a hole in a fence marked “no trespassing” and started down a dirt trail. I did the only thing that seemed reasonable – I followed her. Careful to stay at least 30-50 yards behind her so as to not seem like a crazy stalker I followed her down the dirty desert trail. Towards the end of the trail, there was a quick blind hill and a turn followed by a fork in the road. I never did figure out which way she went. But I did find that either way took you to the Ronald Reagan Sports Park, which is a HUGE park filled with all things sports-related. Skate parks, baseball fields, a running track, a dek hockey court and children’s playsets were everywhere.

cool secret trail

With “The Gipper”

scary snake sign!

What I also found was a grassy knoll upon which about 30 runners were stretching – including the girl who had led me down the trail. They were all different ages and sizes. “A running club!” I joyfully exclaimed to myself. Part of me wanted to stop, to ask them what days and times they regularly met up. Part of me wanted to join them. I was excited about the prospects of learning about and running on even more new trails. And part of me was self-conscious. Afraid they’d think I was a crap runner or that I’d be too slow for the group. So I continued on…

The rest of my trip, from a running perspective, went just like that day. Same road, same trail, same sports park, pass the running group and back to the hotel. Some mornings I was mad at myself for being too nervous to join the group. And some days I had other places to be – like Disneyland – and didn’t have the time to wait around until their 8:30 start time.

If I was going to be in SoCal any longer I would have had to step up, overcome myself and inquire about the group, maybe even join them for a run or two. But since it was only a week-long trip I could get by with what I had figured out on my own without getting bored.

What I learned though is that sometimes it’s tough to ask for help, advice or to even join in when you feel intimidated by other’s knowledge and/or abilities. I know I certainly did, hence my never stopping to inquire about joining the group for a run or two. But it’s like my husband so eloquently said to me last night, “If you want to learn to dance you don’t go ask a soccer player* to teach you. You ask a ballerina.” When you’re serious about wanting to learn or try something new, you need to go to others who are experts in it, not people as clueless as you are. If you’re not willing to go to an expert then how serious are you really? Everyone was once a newbie and has been in your shoes.

The “good news” is that the Bible provides a pretty clear road map for how to be and live your life. And church is kind of like that running group – yes, the group I avoided because I felt intimidated by my perceived inadequacies. Remember, we are all sinners and each and every one of us falls short. And we have all walked a mile in one another’s moccasins in one way or another – don’t be afraid to go where you need to go or ask who you really need to ask when you need a hand. Theres nothing wrong with being new, slow or uninformed, as long as the desire and determination to learn and improve is present. Oftentimes the only thing holding us back is ourselves.

Run by faith,


*i can’t for the life of me remember the non-dancer example he used, but you get the point

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