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Sphere of Influence

Since starting to run, I have become a Runner's World fan. I rarely get a magazine subscription unless it is a gift, but I subscribe to Runner's World. And I read it, every issue, cover to cover.

In the magazine, there is a regular feature called the Newbie Chronicles. This past month, the author, Marc Parent, wrote a piece called A Mile in His Shoes. It is a cute story about how his 6-year old son asked to come running with him one morning. I loved this story and I highly recommend you read the whole article here. But, the last two paragraphs are really impactful (I have copied the last three below).

We finished together and collapsed on the lawn and slapped hands and howled congratulations. Later that week, Susan got him a trophy—a golden runner atop a wooden base with a brass plate on which was written his name, the date, and the words First Mile. By the end of the month, my two older sons were running at my sides with Susan and Will trailing behind. And it's true what they say, the family that runs together gets super tired together and uses up all the hot water on showers and laundry. In its wrap up of the Christakis/Fowler study,

The New York Times concluded, "If you want to improve the world with your good behavior, math is on your side. For most of us, within three degrees we are connected to more than 1,000 people—all of whom we can theoretically help make healthier, fitter, and happier just by our contagious example.

"No one is an island. No one runs in a vacuum. There is always someone watching you leave the house, dig it out, come back, and do it all over again. You are being watched by a roommate, a brother, a spouse. The driver of every passing car. You are being watched by future generations. My grandmother ran in college! someone might say of you one day. My great uncle took it up in his 30s and ran marathons into his 60s! We are inexorably entwined within each other's influence. You may run by yourself, but no matter how early you start, no matter how remote your location, you never run alone.

Wow. Although this article is about running, and I do hope that somehow by my own, often pathetic, attempts at running, I somehow inspire others to know that they too can do it. But, I share this for another reason. I know we, or at least, I often forget how much my life can be an example to others. The way I live out my faith . . . others see it. The values I stand for and uphold . . . others see it. The way I parent, love and value my children . . . .others see it. The way I love my wonderful husband, speak of him and treat him . . . . others see it. Simply by living a good life, praying, showing up to daily mass, Sunday mass, and standing in line at confession; my life becomes an example to those around me.

I have seen it with my own kids and my running. K, now runs laps around the house yelling "marathon!" K and J often ask to go out for a run with me around the block.

And they see me praying the Liturgy of the Hours in the morning when they come down to breakfast. My boys see me striving to put Jesus first. They see the good and the bad of me. They see me ask for forgiveness from God, my husband and from them. I pray that my example creates a desire in them to "Seek first His Kingdom and His Righteousness." Matt.6:33

" Proclaim the Gospel always, use words when necessary."

So, my friends, go spread the Gospel today. You never know whose life you are touching.


  1. I love that quote. I'm having one of those "oops. do as I say not as i do" weeks. :) It has been such a rough one for me, so I'm hoping my poor kiddo doesn't learn how to be irrationally angry from his preggo mom.... :) LOVE YOUR HEADER PHOTO.

  2. This was such an inspiring post that I had to read it out loud to my husband. We both loved it! Thank you for sharing this lovely reminder! God bless!


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