What It Means To #RunLikeKeith
I’ve been thinking a lot about what it means to #RunLikeKeith. Part of it is to feel the freedom in your mind and body as you move through space and push yourself to go faster and farther than last time.
But since I will never be #FastLikeKeith, I’ve been working through what the hashtag means at a deeper level.
It means to be disciplined.
“Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. Therefore I do not run like someone running aimlessly; I do not fight like a boxer beating the air.” [1 Corinthians 9:24-26 NIV]
Keith never ran without purpose. Whenever I have attempted running for the vague sake of “getting healthy”, I’ve always been discouraged and ended up quitting. Keith ran to be strong and to beat his personal records. He always worked toward the goal to get faster and be stronger.
To #RunLikeKeith means to be focused.
“Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” [Philippians 3:13-14 NIV]
Keith was the most focused person I’ve ever met. When he set his mind to accomplish something, he did it. He was well acquainted with the libraries of his college and medical school because he was determined to learn as much as possible. I am learning to use that same focus in my own training as I look past bad runs towards the ultimate goal of finishing this half marathon.
To #RunLikeKeith means to keep perspective.
“And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.” [Hebrews 12:1-3 NIV]
Anyone who spent any amount of time discussing anything with Keith would know that his relationship with God was so personal that it affected every aspect of his life. Each decision, frustration, celebration, and moment was met with Keith’s trust that God had a plan for his life. It’s hard to understand how God could be involved in my running, but somehow I’m barely six months post c-section and my body feels as strong as it did two years post surgery with Caleb. I can’t explain my present success or enjoyment with regards to running other than that it’s part of something bigger.
Most importantly, to #RunLikeKeith means to finish honorably.
“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing.” [2 Timothy 4:7-8 NIV]
Keith may have loved to try and cheat his way through a board game, but he lived his life with integrity. In the last hours and moments of Keith’s life I was keenly aware of how true this was. All I could say to him was how well he had lived and that he could confidently enter heaven’s gate knowing that he had lived and died honorably. I hope one day someone may admire me for the way I have lived. In the short term, I want to finish the half marathon with the pride that I worked hard to accomplish something I never dreamed of doing.
It’s for this reason that I’m determined to #RunLikeKeith because it means I’m treating life like a spiritual race. I want to live with the same discipline, focus, perspective, honor, and integrity that he modeled, not because he was perfect, but because I deeply admire those things about him.
If you haven’t ordered your #RunLikeKeith hat yet, but would like one, send an email to OurFriendKeith@gmail.com before we submit the order!
For more info on the #RunLikeKeith hats and fundraiser, follow this link. Registration fees for the Navy-Air Force Half Marathon and 5 Miler increase soon, so if you’re planning on runnin, be sure to sign up!