The Truth Will Let You Run Free

What’s the secret? How do you get better at running? How do you run faster? Run stronger? You really want to know?Love. 

That’s the secret. 

Love it. 

I know. It’s probably cooler to say it’s about guts and more hard core to say it’s about tolerating pain or running X amount of miles. 

I don’t care. 

It’s love. You wanted the answer. I just gave it. 

You want to be great…at anything…then be ready to fall in love with it. 

You can’t be truly brave without love. 

You can’t tolerate pain for the right reasons without it. 

You can’t sacrifice yourself without love. 

You can’t be willing to do more and take on more and hurt more and believe more and be more…without it. 

It’s probably cooler to say something else here. 

I know it sounds soft. Cheesy too. 

But when you love something you tell the truth about it. 

That’s cool enough for me. 

The Longest Run

Travis died during practice. He was stronger than he had ever been. He was full of potential and life and his dreams were coming true. He was running better than ever. 

He still died during practice. 

We were all just kids. We were all 22 maybe 23 years old. We flooded the hospital. The doctors didn’t know what to do when we all showed up – when they had to tell us. 

They saw in us what we saw in ourselves – a never ending run. 

But Travis died.

Hearing heart muscles or an enlarged heart or too much heart as reasons for why it happened didn’t answer the question we all had. 

We knew why in the medical sense we just wanted to know why in all the other senses.

I still don’t know. 

Travis died during practice. 

I think about him on cold days. Rainy days. Shitty days when the idea of running makes you want to batten down the hatches and hide underneath the covers. He’d have run.

Travis was a pure cross country guy. Tough. Hard. Joyful. 

Thinking of him can get me through a tough run – a tough day. 

Travis died during practice almost 15 years ago. 

That was a bad day. 

But he would have wanted us to keep running through all the sadness with its crying. And the anger with its cursing. And the confusion with its despair. And the questions. Always the questions and never the answers. 

He would have wanted us to keep running like the race was never going to end. 

Like we all ran before that practice.

Like Travis did every time he ran. 

He would have wanted us to know that his death was not the finish line. 

Because there is no finish line.


And someday we’ll all line back up, Travis and the whole damn team on a starting line somewhere. The weather will suck and it will be muddy. Because XC in Heaven is real XC. Which means Travis will be tough to beat.


Travis died during practice. 
I’m thinking about him tonight. 

And I’m thinking about teammates everywhere that are missing a teammate tonight.