Maybe I’m not a romantic. Using a “date day” to run 16 miles would be considered a tragedy by most young parents (34 isn’t old is it?). Luckily, this marathon is a goal that my wife and I share together. So, we thought making the leap from 14 to 16 miles would be fun to complete/attempt as a team.

We started the run at 6:00 a.m. and it was freezing…literally. The temperature  was 29 degrees with a moderate wind making the wind chill in the low 20s and the first mile a challenge. It was complete darkness and we had the entire town to ourselves. You are told on your long runs that you should run at a pace where you can hold a conversation. So, that is exactly what we did. We didn’t talk the entire run. As a matter of fact we didn’t really talk much at all. But when we were cruising around the town square running into a sunrise that only God could paint on mile 7…it was nice to share it together (does this make me a romantic?). Around mile ten I started feeling the nagging pain I’ve been battling in my right knee. But, having Ashley running with me kept me pushing through. On a few occasions Ashley would get caught up in the music and start to run too fast. I was there to tell her to quit jamming to Britney and slow down. Together, we finished strong, hit our goal time, and experienced the milestone together.


The same buddy system that works in kindergarten so you don’t get lost at the zoo, is even more valuable in your professional career. We all have strengths and weaknesses. It’s taken me a long time to accept this. I can write creatively…but have trouble with grammar (go ahead and count the typos in this post). Luckily, my boss, Charlotte LaGrone, can spot a grammatical mistake a mile away. Seriously, she is a machine. Since I have acknowledged that I can’t perfectly diagram a sentence…I have her proof everything before we post it for the district. I’m good at video storytelling…but haven’t mastered operating a camera. Fortunately, I have an arsenal of friends who are willing to give me advice. I like to feel that I provide the same assistance to them on occasion. Allowing others to help you grow in your profession is always a strength and never a weakness. 

Find those people in your personal and professional life who support and challenge you to be the best version of yourself you can be.