I’ve got these two friends I hang out with a lot.

My two friends have been hanging out with me pretty much most of my life. They seem to be a constant in life no matter what I’m doing, where I’m going or who else I’m with. When I was dating my now beautiful wife they would show up at the most inopportune times and just kind of wiggle their way into the conversation even when they weren’t invited. After we got married, they showed up more and more and it seemed my new wife had the same two friends. They interfered often in what we were trying to do. Start a multi-level marketing business and there they are. Get out of the multi-level marketing business because now you’re dead broke and begin ministry school. Yep, they show up again. Finish ministry school while both holding down full-time jobs and actually begin part-time ministry and they show up again.

It’s not like they left, they’re always just hanging around. I thought I had shaken my two friends by going into full-time mission work actually doing something at which I was talented. There were times when I didn’t even sense them around because as I taught these new Christians how to start small businesses so as their church emerged, they could fund it themselves, these two friends didn’t seem to want to hang around.

Sooner or later they showed back up again and in a rather quick fashion, I went from being at peace doing something I loved and ended up in a world of conflict and not too long after a speedy departure from this foreign land. Ending up back in the United States with nothing but really the clothes on my back and a bunch of friends who were willing to help out I held my two friends off with liberal doses of glasses of wine and food. It seemed like the more I tried to do, the harder I tried to be a success at life the more these two jokers seemed to show up and noodle their way into whatever I was doing. No matter how successful I was at sales these two would show up and sooner or later all the hard work I was doing seemed to go kaput in a skinny instant and I was left trying to figure out what to do next. These two friends were going to be the ruin of me and I knew that I had to figure out what to do with them fast. Overweight, out of shape, in debt up to my earlobes I desperately wanted to ditch these two friends. A lifetime of them hanging around wasn’t leaving me with visions of a great future or even a mediocre future. A lifetime of these two was leaving me with visions of ruin and despair.

And then one day I went running. I thought about taking up biking but due to the expense of buying a bike and all the gear, running seemed like a less expensive route. I found out something when I began to run. These two friends loved to show up as I was getting ready to go out to run. They had all the reasons why it wasn’t a good idea to go running today. “It’s too dark out” they would both declare with different arguments. One of my friends would say, “You’re kind of a klutz, you’ll probably fall over something and break your head wide open in the dark and hours later somebody might actually find you.” My other friend would say, “You know, you don’t live in the best neighborhood and only bad people are out in the early morning dark like this. You’re going to get robbed and they’re going to steal everything you have.” Now the one friend was mostly right, I can trip over a crack in the sidewalk but his argument got more and more invalid every time I did step out the front door and go for a run. After all, when I began running, I lived in a huge city and it didn’t matter how early I went for a run there were always cars around. So even if I did trip over a crack in the sidewalk and busted my head wide open there were sure to be carloads of people to laugh and hopefully bring me to a hospital. My other friend was also mostly right, there are bad people in big cities and it is entirely possible they would want to mug me and steal everything I had on. Now everything at the time consisted of shorts, a t-shirt, socks and my bouncy Kangoo boots so it wasn’t like I had a lot of valuables. Maybe they wanted to steal the key to the house I kept tied around one of the buckles of my boot.

Something really strange happened though as almost every day I left my house early to go for a run. My two friends were still there, I could sense them hanging out around the corner. The difference was I couldn’t hear their voices as loudly and it wasn’t because I am hard of hearing. I mean most times I could hear their voices just fine but as I ran their voices seemed to fade into the background.

Sure, they were there as I first began to toe the start line of a race but it was like in the first mile these two jokers drifted off and the further, I ran the harder it got to hear their voices. When I toed the line for my first 100-mile race I knew they were there but it was harder and harder to hear their voices because I knew I had done everything I could to finish this race and now it was just a matter of time before I was strolling across the finish line.

By this time, you’re probably thinking I’m a total whack job. I mean after all who would hang out with two friends that don’t seem to be helping me succeed at life? Why would you carry two friends like this around your whole lifetime? The truth is most all of us if we are willing to admit it carry these two friends around with us a lot. My two friends have pretty recognizable names and I’m sure if you’re willing to admit it, you have two friends pretty much just like these two.

See these two friends are named Doubt and Fear.

Over the last seven years I have lost over 80 pounds and gone from a sedentary lifestyle to now running ultra marathons. Along the way I have discovered my love for writing, for encouraging others and for living a lifestyle of constantly pushing myself beyond what I think my limits are. Visit Mike at MikeHornerUltra.com.
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Over the last seven years I have lost over 80 pounds and gone from a sedentary lifestyle to now running ultra marathons. Along the way I have discovered my love for writing, for encouraging others and for living a lifestyle of constantly pushing myself beyond what I think my limits are. Visit Mike at MikeHornerUltra.com.

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