This past weekend at the IMT Des Moines (Iowa) Marathon I had the privilege of speaking at the expo speakers series. On Saturday afternoon a young lady took her seat as I was about to step up to the microphone to begin my presentation. As I began to share my personal story and the story of the founding of TEAM 413, tears ran down her face. The more I talked about how Christ had been glorified by a simple verse on a simple running shirt all over the world, she began to cry. She eventually composed herself, but she remained somewhat emotional during the entire talk. I was able to speak with her afterwards and learned that she had lost her mom not too long ago and was having a tough time. She was going through a "thunderstorm moment" in her life. She told me that the words of encouragement really helped her. I was moved beyond measure because God had allowed me to help someone in a way that I could not have imagined.
Later that evening I had the honor to introduce the keynote speaker, Jeff Galloway, at the pasta dinner. Jeff and I have been friends for quite some time, but he didn't know the depth of his influence in my life...of how his run-walk-run method had gotten me through virtually every race that I've ever finished. He had never heard my entire story and this was my opportunity to say thanks to him and to introduce my friend, my coach, and the father of the run-walk-run method of training to this audience. When Jeff took the stage he thanked me for the kind introduction and then told the audience that TEAM 413 was making an impact on people all over the world, that we were helping to change people's lives. Once again, I was in awe of God's power -- of how he could use a simple messenger to help spread His good news and now we are accepted by the worldwide running community.
After the pasta dinner, I had the privilege to meet, Stacy Sparks, a cancer survivor who had shared her story at the expo. She introduced herself and we chatted for a bit. She went on to tell me how TEAM 413 folks had helped her get through some races and that she had never stopped by our booth at an expo but was glad the she could meet me one-on-one so that we could share our stories. Once again, I was inspired by someone who God used to lift my heart -- to know that we truly are making a difference.
Finally, on race day, I felt great. I eventually would complete the Des Moines Half Marathon in my fastest time in several years. My time still wasn't great but it was several minutes faster than I've run in a very long time! I was pumped because even though it's not really about the time any longer, I had become somewhat discouraged that I couldn't seem to get over the hump. But on this day, I was able to achieve a little more than I thought I could. God shined down on me on this cobalt blue sky day in Des Moines and I will never forget the people who I met along that journey through the streets of the city.
There is much work to be done and we need your help. Look for some major announcements coming during the next few weeks. TEAM 413 is coming to a city near you soon.....
Under HIS Grace...