Saturday, March 24, 2012


"As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another"

Proverbs 27:17

15th and Constitution NW, I'm waiting for the crosswalk light to turn. 4.5 miles in on my run, at least another two to go. There's a steady 80 foot climb over 3/4 of a mile coming up and honestly, I was running low on gas.

Headphones in, I try to pump myself up before the light changes.

A girl in running gear jogs up beside me. There are no words, just a nod.

The light changes, we both start running, keeping pace with one another. She speeds up her pace a little, I match it. I speed up, she matches. We fed off each other's energy for a solid half mile.

Another stop light, another stop. She nudged my elbow with hers. No words, just a nod and we parted ways.

The experience gave me the energy and motivation I needed to finish the run strong. I made the hill by the Capitol building mine.

During the time I've been training, a partner has always presented him or herself at the time when I needed them the most. Some last years, others - a half mile. In every instance, I come out stronger, more knowledgeable and more driven than I was before I met them. My first training partner was Scott, a personal trainer at the gym where I was working out. He taught me the basics of lifting. After him, it was a solid three years before I met Bill, a power lifter I trained with when I was in Pennsylvania for a year for work. He pushed me to push myself through the walls and limitations that I had set for myself. Then on Friday, the half mile girl. The common theme among them all - we pushed each other to improve. We sharpened one another.

Everyone hits a point in their training where they stagnate, where they lose motivation to push their hardest, where their efforts aren't as focused and sharp as they should be to achieve their goals. When that time hits, recognize it as the time to pick up a lifting partner, a running buddy, or even hire a trainer. Someone who is better at what you're trying to do. Not only will you push one another, you will learn a lot in the process, too. You will sharpen one another.

How sharp can you be?