Friday, September 10, 2010

The People You Meet on the Way to the Finish Line by Bruce Scruggs

A few weeks ago, I had the privilege of being able to address the Atlanta TEAM at this season's All Sport GTS. One of the messages I hoped to convey was the all too often unrealized, sheer awesomeness of the group of people we train with every week. I've had the opportunity to be part of several TEAMs over the past two years, and I continue to be amazed by the people I have met, so, since public speaking isn't my forte', and some of you may not have been at the All Sport, I wanted to share this story with you again.
Bruce & cancer survivor, fellow
teammate, Mallory Chandler

It is difficult to tell much about someone when you first arrive at a Saturday morning run. You may be wearing the same TEAM jersey that many of them are also wearing, so it's hard to tell who's who. It may be a little intimidating waiting for the coach to address everyone; some of the people seem to know everyone and talk about upcoming races, while others are nervously anticipating the start of the run. But if you take a little time once the group gets started, and talk to one person, you will quickly realize you are in the presence of some of the most incredible people you will ever meet in your life!! Trust me, it happens to me several times every season, and it is not because they are all gifted runners (although you may meet some that have run over 100 marathons). They are incredible just because they are there, as are you, and you will help each other throughout the season (often without even knowing you're helping).

You won't know at first that they are lawyers, vice presidents of corporations, doctors and even celebrities. They won't tell you they have been participating and supporting The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society for over ten years, or they've been acknowledged nationally for their contributions, they're far too humble to boast. If you take the time however, you may find out one of them is an alumni in your college fraternity or sorority, or they just took a week off their job to travel across the country supporting a TEAM on the Race Across America. You may have an opportunity to hear they are participating because they lost a loved one at some point, or they participate because they can't cure the disease but they can run, so that's what they'll do. You might not even meet the person who inspires you "in person" at first, you may become friends with them because you saw their story on the TNT Georgia Facebook page, and became friends with them via the internet until you have an opportunity to meet them at an event.

I know this because every one of these has happened for me in the short time I have been on the TEAM, and each person I have met along the way to my finish line now have a special place in my life forever. So I urge you, take time to get to know someone each week at your GTS and you will be rewarded with relationships that will last a lifetime. By the way, if you are reading this blog, I now consider you my friend, and I hope to get a chance to talk to you sometime soon at a GTS or event to hear your story. Until then, Train, Endure, Achieve, Matter, and GO TEAM!!

Bruce Scruggs first joined Team In Training in 2009 and has quickly racked up several TNT events under his belt. Next up for Bruce, the 2010 Chicago Marathon.

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