Breaking Boundaries with a Run

It started just as C.S. Lewis describes it in “The Four Loves.” We were on a training ride for the Hotter ‘N Hell, a 100 mile cycling race in Wichita Falls. “What! You too?”

Amy Simmons and I tossed our bikes for our first love and laced up our running shoes. For the next nine months we ran with each other two to three times a week. Each step we took bringing us closer together.

Unlike Eros, C.S. Lewis argues friendship is not necessary in our lives, which makes true friendship all the more pure. It’s love unmotivated by a need. I am lucky to say I have a few friends like this; Amy Simmons is one of them. She gives me feedback, challenges me, she listens and never judges.

On the surface it wouldn’t seem that Amy and I could share such a close bond. She grew up in a small town and I was raised in one of the biggest cities in the U.S. At the age of 19 she got married, and she now has a beautiful little girl. I am single with no ties. Running though, has allowed us to learn that our values unit us.

Don’t let differences be a reason to turn your head. So often we let things like race, gender, financial income, and our heritage keep us from connecting with others. Amy is a mom, wife and college student, roles in which I am none of. I could have let those be reasons to turn my head but instead we bonded on something we had in common. That one common love for running has grown a relationship into something much deeper than I have ever thought possible.

I may not be able to relate to her and some of the roles she plays but I can empathize with her. What if we took away the things that categorize us into certain groups and built relationships based on the people that we are. I’d imagine the world would be more full of relationships like the one Amy and I have, one that brings value to survival.

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